News & Media

Future status of Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme for Early Years Sector unclear

31 May 2020

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

- Still too many questions before parents, workers and providers have confidence to reopen on the 29th June.

Labour Deputy Seán Sherlock has called on the government to clarify whether the Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme will cease on the 29th June.

“The announcement by the Minister that the Early Years Sector is to open for all workers on June 29th, while welcome, presents the question on whether the Temporary Wage Childcare Subsidy Scheme will end on that date.

“We need clarity on the future of the Temporary Wage Childcare Subsidy Scheme. If it is to end then many more providers could exit the system. If their salary overheads are not being subsidised it’s difficult to see how, in the absence of published guidelines or regulations, the costs of adhering to Public Health guidelines (as laid down by NPHET) will be met.

“There are still too many questions to be answered about the practicality of operating pods without increasing physical space to be able to do so. We still have no definitive announcement  on distancing guidelines.“
“The operation of pods requires additional staff. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many early years workers will leave also providers to work in child minding in homes so as to manage any risk to themselves.  That also needs to be teased out.

“This is yet another announcement by government that has taken people by surprise and one in which the full details of how it is to work, has not emerged yet. The government has missed one deadline on childcare already. It would be embarrassing for the government if every working parent did not have access to childcare, as promised by the end of June."