Sinn Féin better for childcare - Mary Lou McDonald launches Sinn Féin Childcare Policy
- Better For Childcare (3 MB)
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has today launched her party’s Childcare Policy.
Deputy McDonald said a Sinn Féin led government would be better for childcare as her party would set a maximum fee at €180 a week reducing to €150 incrementally.
Speaking at the launch in Dublin today Deputy McDonald said;
“We want to give children the best start in life. By improving the quality of early childhood education to promote positive experiences and learning outcomes, we can also develop a system that is responsive to the needs of both child and parents.
“Parents should feel safe in the knowledge that they will be able to return to working life and that their children will be safe within an improved childcare system. We also want to increase employment in the childcare sector itself.
“Sinn Féin would set the maximum fee of childcare to €180 per week. This would be lowered to €150 over time. This would be coupled with a six week extension to maternity benefit followed by an incremental increase to 52 weeks of parental leave.
“We also want to assist the progression of the existing workers to level seven and eight qualifications and we would extend the learner fund by €80million over five years and aim for a 60% degree led workforce by 2025.
“We will increase the capitation grants for the free pre-school year by €5 a week and we will provide an additional 1,000 Special Needs Assistants in Early Childhood Care and Education.
“Unlike Labour’s use of childcare as an election tool, we will not make promises that we cannot keep. When we questioned the Department of Public Expenditure, they informed us that they were unable to cost the €2 per hour plan that Joan Burton and the Labour Party seemed to manufacture.
“This is a commitment from Sinn Féin and we will keep the promises we make if we are given a mandate to do so.”