News & Media

Clarity need on access to National Childcare Scheme

16 October 2019

Statement by Sean Sherlock TD
Parliamentarty Party Chair and Spokesperson on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands; Agriculture and the Marine

Labour spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Seán Sherlock, has called on Minister Zappone to clarify whether parents can access the new National Childcare Scheme without having a Public Services Card.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“The National Childcare Scheme has been announced to much fanfare by the Minister but the simple question remains as to who can access it?

“Currently parents logging on to use the service need a Gov ID, which can only be attained by having a Public Services Card.

“As we know, Commissioner Helen Dixon ruled last month that there's no legal basis to require the card to access State benefits or services other than social welfare.

“So why should it be a prerequisite for parents to have one in order to use the National Childcare Scheme?

“Quite simply, it shouldn’t.

“The Department of Children shouldn’t be the exception to the rule.

“The Minster must now clarify how parents that don’t have a card can access the scheme and whether the current requirement will change.

“I have tabled questions to Minister Zappone on this and look forward to her response.”