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Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs Update on Affordable Childcare

19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 nJoint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs
Update on Affordable Childcare
Opening remarks by Dr Katherine Zappone TD Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

12th July 2017

"I am very pleased to meet with the Committee this morning to provide an update on the measures, which are being put in place to make childcare more affordable for families from September and to outline the progress that has been made since we last met on 8 February in developing the Affordable Childcare Scheme (ACS).

In particular, I would like to update you on some of the issues raised by the Committee in Pre-Legislative Scrutiny.

Update on measures to make childcare more affordable
On 11 April, I announced a range of measures, which will make childcare more affordable for families from September.

Deputies will be aware that these measures include:

§ universal subsidies, of up to €1,040 per annum per child, which will be available for all children aged between 6 and 36 months; and

§ targeted subsidies, of up to €7,500 per annum per child, which will be delivered to those families who need it most.

It is these targeted subsidies that will open up jobs, training and education for parents who want to lift their families out of poverty.  As a result of these measures, up to 70,000 children will benefit from extra childcare support this September – this will be an important moment.

This is the first big practical step to changing one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world into one of the best.

By addressing the affordability issue we will ease the burden on many parents for whom childcare costs have become a second rent or mortgage."

The Minister up-dated the Joint Oireachtas Committee on areas such as Legislation, ICT approval process, Launch planning, timelines and other preparatory work.

To read the Ministers full remarks please click HERE

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Families in crisis receive extra free childcare Zappone takes further steps to improve access to childcare for families who are homeless and programme refugees

Families in crisis receive extra free childcaredcyalogo

Zappone takes further steps to improve access to childcare forfamilies who are homeless and programme refugees

Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone

10th July 2017

Free childcare schemes for families who are homeless and refugees starting new lives in Ireland are to be expanded, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.

Free childcare for families which are homeless is to be extended to include all children aged 12 and under for the summer months and all future school holidays. Children under 5-years-old currently benefit on a year round basis.

In addition children from families who arrive in Ireland from the Mediterranean crisis under the refugee relocation programme will be offered 60 weeks of free childcare – an increase from the current 8-weeks.

Making the announcement Minister Zappone added:

“I believe every child should have access to childcare, no matter what their background, income or family circumstance. It is an ambitious goal but one which we must reach if we are to have genuine accessible affordable quality childcare.

Since the start of the year we have used funding of €8m to offer free services with a daily meal to children aged 5 years and under from families who are homeless. I am now delighted to confirm that this scheme is being extended to include part-time childcare for 6 to 12-year olds over the summer months and during other school breaks.

The extension will not only provide activity for young children but will also ease the huge burden on families who are in very stressful situations.

In addition free childcare for children arriving in Ireland from the European refugee crisis is to be extended from 8 weeks to 60 weeks.

Families arriving into Ireland from the ‘hotspots’ along the Mediterranean will benefit.

The extension will assist integration and create space for parents, guardians and older family members to seek jobs, training and education. It will assist them to resettle and restart their lives in Irish communities which will become home.

Childcare in Ireland is changing forever. We are transforming one of the most expensive systems in the world into one of the best. Accessibility is a key challenge we must address to reach this goal. These announcements underline our commitment to achieve that goal.”

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Achieving Affordable Accessible Quality Childcare

dcyalogoThe Minster for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone addressed the Dáil Éireann on the 5th July regarding the first big steps being taken to change Irish Childcare.  The Minsiter also spoke about Quality, pay & conditions, valuing the workfore, administration, community childcare and the early years strategy.

To read the Minister's remarks in full please click HERE

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