The two new schemes have been introduced under the umbrella single affordable childcare scheme. They haven’t been given individual names yet so we’ll call them “the first scheme” and “second scheme”. The first scheme is the “universal” open-to-all childcare scheme. It is open to all, even if you and your partner are both hospital consultants with a total household income of €480,000 per year
There has been a broadly positive reaction from children's groups to the new affordable childcare scheme, with the National Women's Council describing it as a breakthrough for the provision of childcare in Ireland.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe told the Dáil that the €35m Single Affordable Childcare Scheme would be introduced in September 2017.
Universal childcare payment to be unveiled in budget
11th Oct 2016
State subsidy of up to €900 for all children between six months and three All parents with children aged between six months and three years in childcare will be entitled to up to €900 in State subsidies a year, in budget measures to be announced today.
The poorest families will receive €8,000 annually under the budget’s childcare arrangement. Minister for Children Katherine Zappone’s plan will see all parents, no matter what their income, receive some subsidy from the State.
Budget 2017: Who will benefit from childcare package?
13th Oct 2016
The childcare package in Budget 2017 was never going to please everybody because there are so many permutations on how families structure their lives, depending on circumstances and personal preferences.
There is more wrong with Irish childcare than the cost
15th Feb 2016
‘Sand,” says Jamie (4). “I like to play in the sand. And we pick up the pebbles in the garden and then we count them. I like that, too.” Jamie was not as happy in his old creche, although he is a little too young to understand why.
But his parents, Barbara and Keith, know why. Their son had been attending a large, private childcare facility in south Dublin. “All too often we would drop him in the morning to meet a complete stranger in the room, as last week’s minder had decided to pack it in,” says Barbara. “We were rarely, if ever, introduced to new minders. The chopping and changing is very unsettling for young kids. There were staff shortages and minders in rooms with far too many children.”
Minister Reilly announces €85m childcare package in Budget 2016
13th October 2015
From September 2016, every child in Ireland will be able to start pre-school at age three, and to remain in pre-school until they start primary school Currently, children between the age of 3 years and 2 months, and 4 years and 7 months, are eligible for a year’s free pre-school (38 weeks) through the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme.. Children will be able to enrol in pre-school at three different points in the year – September, January and April. In line with this expansion of free pre-school, capitation payments to providers will be fully restored to pre-2012 levels.Add News Story here
Breda O’Brien: State subsidised child care is no Nirvana
27Th September 2015
Childcare is one of the biggest worries faced by parents working outside the home. They worry about the cost, they worry about the quality, and they worry about the long-term impact.Add News Story here
“We are happy to welcome the general thrust of the report, and its recognition of the importance of quality experiences for young children and that the state must finally accept its responsibility to invest in early childhood, parental leave and quality and training supports.
How much do you value the people who take care of your children?
6th June 2015
EARLY CHILDHOOD PROFESSIONALS will today take to the streets in Cork, Dublin and Sligo in a bid to secure a wage that is commensurate with their important role of supporting children and families at the key stage in the young child’s development.
Why do childcare workers earn such low wages while parents pay high fees?
5th June 2015
EARLY CHILDHOOD PROFESSIONALS are this Saturday taking to the streets in Cork, Dublin and Sligo in a bid to secure a wage that is commensurate with their important role of supporting children and families at the key stage in the young child’s development.
Background to the Early Childhood Ireland Submission
24th April 2015
The strategy is a key development for us as an organisation that is committed to learning through our work with the sector and beyond; listening to others across disciplines, departments and sectors; leading and influencing on matters related to early childhood care and education. This strategy presents a unique opportunity to create the landscape and possibilities for our youngest citizens over the coming years. This plan should not be limited in its vision by the current economic context. What we know, believe and want for our children should provide the blueprint, almost the ideal, but pragmatically a little beyond our reach. The direction we take and the steps that are possible should be mapped, achievable and incremental, leading to our overall strategic aim.Add News Story here
The Inter-Departmental Group on Future Investment in Early Years and School-Age Care and Education Services is inviting submissions on childcare and early years education. This group is exploring ways of ensuring that current and future investment delivers more affordable, accessible and high quality early years and school-age care and education
Open Thread: Is the cost of childcare preventing you from working?
16th April 2015
MORE THAN 3,000 mothers are leaving the workforce annually due to the excessive costs of childcare, says a new survey. This is costing Irish companies an estimated €68 million. The ‘Baby Brain Drain’ Citrix study suggests that 33,500 mothers plan to return to work on a full-time basis out of financial necessity.
Am I alone in Mummy Martyr stakes? (Why are parents so bad at looking after themselves?)
14th April 2015
O I WAS at the GP’s last week. Again. This time, about yours truly. Who has managed to pick up the mother and father of all bugs from her kids, which she just cannot seem to clear. You know one of those kiddy bugs, which they bounce back from within 24 hours of the amoxicillin entering their system, but which leave you floored for weeks.
Few would deny that money devoted to early childcare and parental support is well spent. Studies by the OECD have found that Irish child-minding costs inhibit participation by mothers in the workforce and contribute to relative child poverty and disadvantage. But successive governments have been reluctant to provide the necessary financial resources to tackle that situation or disturb the view that a mother’s primary place is in the home. Now, as an election approaches, long and short-term political aspirations are being unveiled.
‘Parental leave plans will only work if radical childcare reforms included’
7th April 2015
Potential plans to allow mothers double the amount of paid leave they receive after having a baby, and to receive extra weeks off if they split the time at home with their partner, will only improve child services if they are backed up by a series of other wide-ranging reforms.
Use of primary schools for childcare would be ‘band aid approach’
3rd March 2015
Early Childhood Ireland, which represents service providers in the childcare sector, has said the use of primary school buildings as a low-cost solution for childcare would amount to a “band aid approach” to a serious capacity problem. File photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
The Government’s reaction to our childcare crisis: divide and conquer
20th Feb 2015
LIKE THOUSANDS OF other working parents throughout the country, I was on the edge of my seat listening to Leo Varadkarspeaking on Claire Byrne Live last Monday evening. The subject was childcare. The costs. The lack of Government subsidisation. The absence of State investment in the sector. The lack of any real appetite on the Government’s part to take ownership, or any kind of real lead, on the issue.
Expensive childcare is leading to an increase in underpaid au pairs in Ireland
17th Feb 2015
MANY IRISH PEOPLE are turning to au pairs and live-in nannies due to the high cost of childcare in Ireland.
Parents in Ireland currently pay higher créche costs than their counterparts in all other European countries. Childcare professionals say parents have had to pick up the entire tab for childcare costs because the government isn’t investing enough.
The Irish government spends about 0.15% GDP per year on pre-school services, compared to an OECD average which is five times that (0.75%).
Ahead of the Cabinet meeting this morning, various Government ministers spoke about the pressing issue of childcare costs and how to make sure people with children can enter the workforce without crippling financial responsibilities.
Is one inspector for 21,000 kids good enough?… Fresh questions raised over Ireland’s creches
25th Aug 2014
CONCERNS ARE BEING raised over large inconsistencies in the level of creche inspections being carried out nationally, following the release of figures from Tusla, the child and family agency. However, Tusla CEO Gordon Jeyes is insisting the problems have now been addressed.
The figures, which relate to 2013, show that 2,432 inspections were carried out last year by 42 inspectors.
Opinion: We can’t afford NOT to invest in childcare and early education
14th July 2014
PARENTS IN IRELAND pay some of the highest costs for crèches in the world. But the high costs are no guarantee of quality.
Parents in Ireland pay huge childcare costs – amounts that equate to a second mortgage. In fact, crèche fees in Ireland are among the highest in Europe, costing an average of over €750 per child per month, according to the latest report from Eurostat. Many parents are paying even more. It’s unsustainable.