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Early Childhood Ireland Response to RTÉ Investigates: Creches – Behind Closed Doors

ACS Information Campaign

May 22, 2017

Early Childhood Ireland (ECI) welcomes the more affordable childcare information campaign just launched, with information packs arriving to childcare providers by post today

 

More affordable childcare for parents begins in September and the Government campaign is aimed at the 4200 childcare operators in Ireland who will deliver this Scheme on behalf of Government, to parents.

 

According to Teresa Heeney CEO of Early Childhood Ireland:

‘As soon as our phone lines opened today, we have started receiving calls  from our 3600 members who are receiving their information packs in today’s post. Our Support Point helpline will gather feedback and the major questions arising in terms of delivering this scheme for both operators and parents. Our members have been fielding questions from parents for months now as to what the September measures will look like, what subsidies will be provided etc. This information campaign is, therefore, welcome.

 

‘We will also be closely monitoring how this Scheme will impact on our members, whether it is sustainable and efficient.

 

‘In relation to the specifics of this scheme, the fact that every child between the age of 6 months and 36 months in Tusla-registered childcare services will be eligible for some level of childcare support is a real breakthrough and is something that should relieve a little of the financial pressure on parents in Ireland who are paying some of the highest childcare costs in the world.  We are also pleased that the measures apply to both full and part-time childcare, will be both universal and targeted in nature and that existing targeted supports under the Community Childcare Subventions Scheme and the Training and Employment Childcare Scheme will be increased by up to 50%.”

 

‘We see the Affordable Childhood Scheme as an important first step but there is a huge amount of work ahead if these plans for affordable education and care for young children and families are to be achieved. When it comes to childcare – affordability for parents, quality for children and sustainability for childcare operators are all interlinked and we can’t address one without the other.  Until the issue of decent pay and proper conditions for childcare professionals are addressed, we simply won’t have a high-quality system of childcare in this country. We welcome Minister Zappone’s stated ambitions to seek significant increases in the next Budget to address the historical underfunding in this sector.’

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