Childcare costs survey should be a wake-up call to Government – Mitchell
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Denise Mitchell TD has said the results of a Newstalk poll which shows the cost of childcare has increased by an average of 5.5% across the State should be a wake-up call for the Government ahead of the Budget.
Speaking on Monday, Deputy Mitchell said:
“We can see from this survey that many parents are paying the equivalent of a second mortgage when it comes to childcare fees. Decades of Government underinvestment in early years services have led us to this situation and this should be a wake-up call to the Government that this needs to be reversed.
“Not only are parents struggling to cover the costs of childcare, increased administration, wages and rent, many providers are finding it increasingly difficult to break even. Meanwhile, childcare workers’ wages are still well below the Living Wage, and that is unacceptable.
“A knock-on effect is that we are seeing many parents choosing not to return to work after having a child because the cost of childcare is prohibitive, and so we are actually losing skilled workers from the labour force.
“Sinn Féin has showed at each Budget, and we will again this year, how childcare costs can be brought down through investment in early years services. This means that we need to see an increase in the Universal Childcare Subsidy to help offset high costs to parents, we need to see an increase Capitation Grants to support providers in delivering quality childcare, and finally we need to see real progress towards a sector-wide pay agreement to ensure that the every childcare worker receives, at the very minimum, the Living Wage.”