Childcare Supports Confirmed in Budget
27th September 2022
Minister McGrath has said funding will be provided to support a reduction of up to 25% in the weekly fee for those availing of the National Childcare Scheme, costing €121 million.
He said this will put up to €175 a month or €2,106 a year back in the pockets of parents next year.
“I am making a further allocation of €59 million to the recently established Core Funding model which will provide for extra hours and enhanced capacity in the sector,” he said.
“Under the new Employment Regulation Order, those working in the childcare sector will see improved pay and conditions to better reflect the importance of the work they undertake in providing quality care for our children.”
The minister said the childcare Budget will reach €1 billion next year – five years ahead of target.
“Childcare is a basic necessity for tens of thousands of families throughout Ireland,” he said.
“The cost of childcare for many of those families is too expensive and, at a time of rising household bills, the pressure this cost places on many families is considerable.”
Reaction from NWCI
The National Women’s Council (NWC) today welcomed many positives in Budget 2023, including structural investment in childcare to reduce childcare costs, women’s health and the cost of education. Investments in essential public services help to reduce costs and are essential for resilient and sustainable societies.
NWC also welcomed the once off payments which will support women and families through this cost of living crisis. However, we are concerned that an over reliance on once off payments will not protect women from poverty and income inequality in the long term.
Regarding the announcement on childcare, NWC Director Orla O’Connor said: “This is a significant breakthrough for women, setting us on a clear path to achieve public childcare. For the first time parents will have their costs reduced. This Budget will be the largest investment to tackle affordability for parents.”
A lack of affordable childcare is the single biggest barrier to women’s equality in the workplace. It is important to note that, because fees are already so high, even an investment as significant as today’s will leave many parents paying extraordinarily high fees. We are now calling for ongoing investment in the next two budgets, as part of a pathway to a public model of childcare which would be affordable for all.”
Orla O’Connor continued: “NWC and our members have long campaigned to make childcare affordable and of high quality and Budget 2023 has finally delivered the most significant investment for parents and children. These measures will advance equality for women in Ireland who have been most affected by the childcare crisis. We must now ensure that this investment continues in future Budgets so that parents in Ireland can receive the same supports that parents in most EU countries have come to expect.”