Doherty calls for urgent Seanad debate on Community Childcare Subvention Scheme
Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has again raised the serious implications of the impending Community Childcare Subvention Scheme in the Seanad today and has demanded that the Minister of State Brendan Smith withdraw his threat to withhold funding from centres.
Senator Doherty said:
“This is a serious issue and is the third week running I have requested a debate. I appreciate that the Leader has agreed a debate will happen here but I would like to impress on him the urgency of the matter.
“The office of the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for children has issued a letter to over 1,000 voluntary community child care groups informing them that if they do not return statutory declarations by next Friday, funding will be discontinued.
“These declarations are forms that the parents of the children attending the child care facilities have to fill in identifying their social welfare incomes, PPS numbers and other private information they do not want to hand to community and voluntary groups.
“That threat must be withdrawn by the Minister of State and a debate must be had in the Seanad as early as possible next week. The Leader has said that we will be sitting for three days a week during the month of November. If so, we need to make that time available so that we have the debate and ask the Minister to lift this threat to over 1,000 community child care facilities in the 26 counties.” CRÍOCH