22/09/2015

Govt Urged To Prioritise Investment In Childcare

The government is being urged to prioritise investment in childcare in the upcoming budget.

Fianna Fáil's Spokesperson on Children, Robert Troy, made the call following the publication of a report by Chambers Ireland which shows how the exorbitant cost of childcare is preventing mothers from returning to the workplace.

"The report issued by Chambers Ireland confirms what we have been highlighting over the last number of years. It's clear that the cost of childcare is far too excessive and is a huge burden on young families. The situation has gotten out of hand due to a lack of investment in and commitment to the childcare sector," Deputy Troy said.

"Today's report shows us that young mothers are unable to return to the workplace because they cannot access childcare due exorbitant costs. This is leading to a loss in skills and talent and is only serving to undermine the economy in the long run. Women should not be expected to have to forgo access to work should they decide to start a family.

"Fianna Fáil has been pushing for an overhaul of the childcare sector in recent years, but the Government has been slow to act. We are the only party that has published an extensive and fully-costed policy on childcare and is committed to taking radical steps to address costs and regulation of the sector. At the heart of our proposals is ensuring that quality childcare is affordable for families now and not at some time into the future.

"Our proposals put forward a range of solutions with the core aim of reliving the stress on parents, the workforce and service providers. We are proposing to significantly ramp up investment by expanding the Community Childcare Subvention scheme by 22%. This will ensure that an additional 5,500 children from low-income families get the childcare they deserve.

"We will also introduce a second free pre-school year for children aged 2-3 years. This will help ensure that children achieve their full potential from an early age. Fianna Fáil is also proposing to introduce a Childcare Support Credit targeted at low and middle income families to ease the cost of childcare on working families.

"Fine Gael and Labour have shown little interest in reforming the childcare sector in recent years. In contrast, Fianna Fáil has advanced reasonable proposals which will open up access to affordable childcare and will allow mothers who choose to return to the workplace to do so."

(MH/CD)

Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 September 2019
Ploughing Championships Underway In Co Carlow
Some 250,000 visitors are expected in County Carlow over the next three days for the National Ploughing Championships which began on Tuesday. The biggest outdoor event in Europe, President Michael D Higgins will officially open the championship in Ballintrane this afternoon.
10 September 2019
Meat Processors Urged To Return To Talks
Meat processors have been urged to return to talks, remove legal threats and agree to address key outstanding issues in reconvened beef talks.
09 September 2019
Fianna Fáil Spending Demands 'Reckless' - FG
Fianna Fáil demanding spending of €4.35 billion in just six months has been described as "reckless". Fine Gael's Peter Burke has said that the spending demands of taxpayers' funds is solid proof Micheál Martin's party "has not learnt a single lesson from the devastation they caused this county".
12 February 2014
Fianna Fáil Bring Childcare Motion To Dáil
A motion that aims to drive down the cost of childcare and introduce a new tax break for working families will be brought in front of the Dáil on Wednesday night. Fianna Fáil will table the motion, which calls on the government to increase the accessibility and affordability of childcare.
09 September 2019
Fianna Fáil Raise Concerns Over Surge In Delayed Discharges
The number of delayed discharges in hospitals has surged over the summer months rising from 599 in June to 672 in July and to 734 at the end of August, according to Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Older People, Mary Butler.