Defer flawed childcare scheme - Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health & Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called on the Government to defer the introduction of the flawed Community Childcare Subvention Scheme as demanded by childcare providers throughout the State under the umbrella of the Irish Childcare Policy Network.
Deputy Ó Caoláin stated:
“Since the Community Childcare Subvention Scheme was announced concern has grown among childcare providers about the fundamentally flawed nature of the scheme and how it will adversely affect children, parents and childcare workers alike. The full implications of the scheme are now clear and have been brought home to community childcare providers in every county.
“In my own constituency of Cavan-Monaghan we have two prime examples. A community childcare facility at Mullaghmatt/Cortolvin in Monaghan town will see its subsidy reduced from €100,000 to €75,000, leading to a doubling of fees for clients of the crèche. In Laragh, Co. Cavan the local community childcare facility will also have to increase its charges to parents by at least 100%. These are but two instances among many in my own constituency and they are replicated throughout this State.
“This flawed scheme takes into account neither the real cost of childcare nor the overall cost of living for parents who need these facilities in order to stay at work or in further education, thus ensuring a better standard of living for their children and themselves. If the Government insists on pushing ahead with the scheme as it is now constituted it will result in closure of crèches, massive increases in fees and a two-tier system of childcare provision.
“The Minister for Children Brendan Smith and his colleagues should listen to the voices of childcare providers and parents throughout the country defer this scheme and consult with them on the provision of fair and properly resourced childcare that truly meets the needs of children and parents.” ENDS