Please see below our press release which was sent to the national media this morning. As you can see we have raised all of the key issues relating to the insurance situation which has unfolded over the last few days.
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has this evening announced an additional programme support payment for 2018/19. This payment is in recognition of the additional administration that childcare providers were tasked with in 2019. This funding of €7m will facilitate an additional payment of c. €1,500 on average to individual providers with the actual amount varying according to service size. This is a welcome development and one which Early Childhood Ireland had called on the DCYA to introduce.
Early Childhood Ireland urges concerned crèches to get in touch
Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Early Childhood Ireland, the leading representative organisation of the early years sector, is today (18.12.2019) urging any crèche or childcare facility contemplating closure due to the current insurance crisis to contact its offices before making any final decisions.
It was confirmed by Padraic Smith & Company yesterday that 1,300 childcare services had policies which were set to lapse on December 31st. This follows Ironshore Europe DAC’s withdrawal from the market, leaving a single major insurance provider underwriting coverage for the Irish childcare sector.
Frances Byrne, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Early Childhood Ireland issued the following notice to childcare providers:
“We understand that this change to the Irish insurance market has caused widespread concern and distress for crèches operating nationwide, with fears that some would feel forced to close their doors. Early Childhood Ireland confirmed at lunchtime today that over 1,015 of those affected have already received quotes from Arachas Corporate Brokers who have a team in place to assist the approximate 285 crèche owners who still need to urgently secure a quote.”
“We urge any crèche contemplating closure to get in touch with us as soon as possible, ideally before the close of business on Monday 23rd December. We will also have emergency cover for any members who experience further difficulties over the Christmas break and will work with them to ensure that children and their families are not adversely affected by crèche closures in early 2020.”
Ms Byrne added, “As part of a range of benefits offered to Early Childhood Ireland members, since 2004 a group insurance scheme has been available, providing comprehensive cover at a rate 30 per cent lower than is currently available elsewhere in the market. Year on year, we have worked with Allianz and Arachas to ensure that this scheme is sustainable and continues to offer valuable cover to our members.
“Our members have had to carry increases in premiums in recent years, but we have worked to keep these increases to a minimum. As with all insurance quotes, each request for cover is assessed on an individual basis and there may be situations where the scheme cannot offer cover due to existing high levels of claims which could jeopardise the future of the scheme.”
Ms Byrne concluded: “A number of reforms are needed to ensure the viability and affordability of early learning and care services across Ireland. Early Childhood Ireland will continue to actively advocate for these reforms on behalf of our members.
“This year has been a challenging one for childcare providers who have had to take on major additional paperwork requirements. In recognition of the onerous administrative burden this has put on our members, Early Childhood Ireland is calling on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to issue a special once-off payment to crèches as soon as possible.”
Further information can be found at www.earlychildhoodireland.ie/ and childcare operators can contact Early Childhood Ireland directly at 01 405 7100 or by emailing email@example.com.
Contact: Frances Byrne, Early Childhood Ireland, Tel: 086 1438680 / Emily Brennan, Alice PR & Events, Tel: 01-5582151.
Notes to Editors:
About Early Childhood Ireland
Early Childhood Ireland is the leading representative organisation in the early years sector. It represents 3,800 childcare members, who support over 100,000 children and their families through preschool, afterschool, and full day-care provision nationwide.