Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone – DCYA
Extra Childcare supports spark surge of interest from Parents and Providers
Parents can start registering with crèches, preschools and providers from Monday (21st August).
Extra childcare supports starting in two weeks have sparked a surge of interest from parents, crèches and childcare providers, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.
The Minister is welcoming new figures which show:
· Country’s 4,500 childcare providers currently signing up to various childcare schemes in preparation for September. 3,423 services have completed their ECCE (free pre-school) contracts.
· 2,290 services (67%) have also signed up to deliver childcare subsidies to families.
· Massive interest in supports starting September. Website www.affordablechildcare.ie has been viewed nearly 350k times.
Minister Zappone added:
“Changing one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world into the best is an ambitious goal but one I am determined to work towards for the sake of families.
These initial figures are hugely encouraging. It is expected that interest from both parents and providers will increase further when childcare centres start registering parents from Monday (21st August).
2,290 providers have already agreed to offer the extra supports and many others are continuing their annual contract negotiations with my officials.
It is clear that after years of under-investment by successive Governments that a turning point has been reached. Overall funding of early years services has increased over 80% since 2015 to €466m this year – passing the half billion mark must be our next milestone!
Our work towards accessible affordable quality childcare must go on.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
Efforts to lower the cost of childcare costs for families in Ireland come to fruition over the coming weeks as registrations open for new and enhanced childcare subsidies provided for in last year’s budget. A new universal non means tested subsidy of up to €1,040 per year for children who have not started the ECCE (free preschool) programme will open for registrations to parents from Monday 21st August. These subsidies equate to approximately six weeks of childcare at the average rate.
Enhanced supports are available to families on lower income or who are returning to work or training and these subsidies have risen by as much as 50% and can amount to €7,500 per child per year for children up to 15 years of age.
Childcare services are currently carrying their annual contracting process with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs with many services re-opening in conjunction with schools in late August.
Families are urged to visit www.affordablechildcare.ie to check out what supports are available to them from this September.
Click on to the original statement on the DCYA website.