01/08/2018

€1,000 Childcare Grant Proposed For Grandparents

An annual €1,000 grant has been proposed for grandparents looking after their grandchildren for more than 10 hours a week.

The Independent Alliance introduced the 'Grandparent and Grandchild Expenses Reimbursement Scheme' in a pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister, Paschal Donohue.

If approved, applications for the grant are to be made available through the Department of Social Protection.

Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Justice, Children and Youth Affairs, Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee has hit out at the proposal over its "pathetic attempt to resolve Ireland's ongoing crisis in childcare provision".

She said: "Rather than put forward a well-thought out policy to increase the availability of affordable childcare, the Independent Alliance has thrown out what can only be described as an insult to the hundreds of thousands of parents and grandparents who are caring for children.

"An annual payment of €1,000 will give the princely sum of €19.20 per week to grandparents; hardly an appropriate recognition of the sacrifice and dedication involved in caring for children.

"Neither will it in any way reduce childcare costs for struggling families, who are burdened with astronomical childcare costs, often thousands of euro each month.

"This proposal would do absolutely nothing to address this deficit."

Senator Clifford added: "The Independent Alliance and their partners in Government need to get real about the scale of Ireland's childcare crisis and take meaningful steps to address it. They should be examining tangible proposals to help families rather than emphasising the need to turn to grandparents."

(CM)

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