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LACK OF CLARITY ON CHILDCARE SCHEME IS BAD FOR PARENTS AND PROVIDERS

13 April 2017

Statement by Jan O'Sullivan TD
Spokesperson on Housing & Local Government, Enterprise & Innovation

Labour Party spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Jan O’Sullivan TD has raised serious concerns about the roll out of the Government’s Affordable Childcare scheme.

“In February, I warned the Government that there was no way the Affordable Childcare Scheme would be ready by September.

“Back in February, officials from Minister Zappone’s department and POBAL told the Children and Youth Affairs committee that the IT systems would not be in place by September. The Minister has now confirmed this to be true nearly 3 months later.

“The fact that we have yet to see the legislation to underpin this scheme three months after pre-legislative scrutiny concluded throws the whole scheme into doubt.

"The committee was told in February that the IT portal will be able to accept applications by parents but may not be able to calculate how much support they should get. We still don’t’ know if this has been straightened out. This lack of clarity is frustrating for parents and providers alike who are trying to plan for the next school year.

"We support the introduction of a Affordable Childcare scheme but it must have systems that work for parents and providers and it must be properly funded to bring wages in the sector up to a living wage."