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Government decision to remove childcare support from VTOS courses will force many parents to abandon back to work schemes

7 September, 2003


Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has voiced his deep concern that tomorrow morning many parents will be forced to drop out of VTOS (Vocation Training Opportunities Scheme) schemes due to a government decision to remove childcare assistance. Of the 5000 people on VTOS courses more than 1,000 are young parents and the government gave them just one week to make alternative arrangements.

Deputy Crowe said:

"Last week the government contacted all those who were accepted onto VTOS schemes and those running the courses to say that childcare assistance would no longer be provided to those on the courses. There was no consultation or no advance notice. With many of the courses, which are designed to help people back into the workforce, due to start tomorrow morning, parents were given less than one week to try and make alternative arrangements. Give the cost of childcare in Dublin City what it effectively means is that parents will no longer be able to participate in such courses.

"It is clear that the governments answer to a down turn in the economy is to attack those most disadvantaged in our society to try and make savings. It's short sighted and defies logic. All it will do is trap young people in a cycle of poverty that they will not be able to get out of alone. Even at this late hour I am calling on Education Minister Dempsey to reverse his decision. "ENDS

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