Early Childhood Ireland (ECI) are delighted to announce the formal launch of ECI’s Budget 2018 Submission Invest for the Best: Building a world-class early childhood care and education system for Ireland. We firmly believe that there are three essential, interconnected pillars of a world-class childcare system:
1. Quality for children;
2. Sustainability for both childcare services and their staff;
3. Affordability for parents.
Each of these pillars, which support the overall structure, requires significant, sustained and simultaneous investment by Government and thus joined-up thinking between the relevant government departments. To this end, we need a significant injection of investment now and a concrete plan for sustained investment that will be delivered over successive budgets.
Minimum increased investment of €250 million in Budget 2018
ECI is calling on Government to commit to increasing budget allocation for ECE by a minimum of €250 million (approximately 0.1% of GDP) every year over the next five years. This should be achieved through a combination of direct investment into the ECE sector by DCYA and indirect investment to the benefit of ECE by other relevant departments. Given the current level of investment, and not withstanding fluctuations in GDP, this will mean the following ECE budgets: €716 million in 2018; €966 million in 2019; €1.216 billion in 2020; €1.466 billion in 2021 and € €1.716 billion in 2022.
We have made 20 recommendations to Government about how to invest the additional funding in a way that strengthens the three pillars of quality, sustainability and affordability. Costings have been provided for recommendations where possible, which are estimates derived from the best information available to ECI at the time of publication. Click here to read our summary document containing ECI’s 20 Budget 2018 recommendations.
ECI will use this submission to support our input at today’s political briefing with Oireachtas members on More Affordable Childcare. More details on this briefing can be found in ‘The Big Picture’.
We want to thank all our members, especially the Policy and Implementation Panel, for your contribution and inputs which have greatly informed this year’s Budget submission. Budget 2018 will be announced next Tuesday 10th October and we will follow-up with a post-Budget analysis.