Certainty on Childcare funding welcome
10 June 2020
Parliamentary Party Chair and Spokesperson on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands; Agriculture and the Marine
Responding to the publication of the funding package for childcare providers to cover the reopening of services, Labour spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Seán Sherlock welcomed the extensive commitment, but warned that the Department must be nimble in responding to issues that may arise in the weeks ahead.
Deputy Sherlock said:
"Parents and providers have been seeking certainty on what funding and fee structure will be in place in creches and other childcare settings when they start to reopen at the end of June. Concerns had been growing due to the delay in the announcement.
"The big problem had been the additional costs that providers would have to incur, and whether these would be passed onto parents."Thankfully the Minister's announcement today brings some certainty, but we can be assured that other issues will arise in the weeks ahead, I would urge the Department to be prepared to respond quickly to problems as they arise.
"As the reopening of the economy has proceeded, we've seen that women in particular have been bearing the brunt of the additional childcare duties that have been placed on families. With retailers reopening this week, many families were left in a situation where workers had to return to employment without childcare facilities. That is not acceptable and there was total absence of realistic advice from the Government, which amounted to telling parents to improvise and look for a dig out from relatives."