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Extra Childcare supports spark surge of interest from Parents and Providers

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Parents can start registering with crèches, preschools and providers from Monday
Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone

SATURDAY 19th AUGUST 2017

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.”

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