CORK-based Fine Gael, Tim Lombard, is pleased to confirm that extra funding for childcare is now available.
“Affordable childcare is an important initiative for Ireland’s long-term economic sustainability, so I am delighted that additional funding is being channelled towards reaching this goal.
“From September every child aged between 6-months and 3-years in registered childcare will get some level of support. This can be full or part-time registered childcare, there will be no minimum number of hours or maximum number of weeks under the eligibility criteria. In addition, we are going to lift the cost barrier for those families who need it most.
“These targeted supports will be enhanced significantly with the highest subsidy rate available rising from €95 to €145 per week and part-time rates increasing to €80 per week.
“The extra money will be available for those parents who are currently prevented from entering work, training or education because of the inflated cost childcare. It will also be available to those who are working but on lower incomes and for whom the cost of childcare is a major burden.
“I encourage every family in Cork to examine their entitlements to ensure they take advantage of the assistance that’s on offer.
“Over the next week local childcare centres will receive a letter inviting them to be a registered provider offering state subsidised schemes. This will be followed by a major awareness campaign aimed at families, launched nationwide at the end of the month.
“Restructuring our childcare system from one of the most expensive in the world to one of the best was never going to be swift or easy, but it is encouraging that the countdown for more affordable childcare has begun.”