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Radical new approach needed towards Childcare – Funchion

1 October, 2016 - by Kathleen Funchion TD

Speaking today at the launch of Sinn Féin’s Budget 2017 proposals on Childcare, Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Childcare Kathleen Funchion TD said that ‘the time is now for radical change to the Childcare system and attitude towards early year’s education in this state’.

The Kilkenny TD said:

“Affordable and accessible high-quality childcare remains a critical issue for thousands of parents and children across this state. Childcare providers are finding it increasingly difficult
to keep their doors open due to high costs in running their services. Staff are finding it impossible to make ends meet on minimum wage salaries while extending themselves to burnout point. The situation is completely unsustainable. 

“Sinn Féin is introducing a series of measures in our Budget 2017 proposals to alleviate the urgent childcare crisis for all those concerned.

“There is a long way to go in achieving an early-years model we can be proud of - one that is publicly subsidised through general taxation, child- focused and which is part of a wider Early Years Strategy.  

“We believe our measures in Sinn Féin’s Budget 2017 proposals will make significant steps
towards both improving the quality of childcare and providing financial relief for young families. 

“Sinn Féin would introduce the following measures: 

· Increase Maternity Benefit and Extend by 2 Weeks

· Subsidise Childcare for Children Aged 6 Months to 3 Years

· Extend Learner Fund to Support Progression to Level 7 and 8 Qualifications Extend the ECCE Scheme to 43 Weeks 

· Roll out of Síolta and Aistear

“Ultimately, we want to create a system that is universal and equal in its treatment of all children and parents, while supporting providers and educators in their provision of best possible care. The time is now, in Budget 2017 for a new and radical approach.” 

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