Local Minister Denis Naughten has confirmed that childcare will become more affordable from this September for parents across Roscommon-Galway. The Cabinet agreed its plans to make childcare more affordable from September using the additional €19m of childcare funding agreed in Budget 2017.
Minister Naughten confirmed that his government colleague the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone secured Cabinet approval for a range of financial measures that will see more than 70,000 families benefit from reduced childcare costs from September.
To ensure that parents and childcare providers across the country understand these childcare supports and how to access them, the Cabinet also approved a public information campaign starting next month, Naughten added.
“Moving from one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world to the best is ambitious. It is a journey we will take one step at a time. Children aged from 6 months through to 15 years will benefit with the highest levels of supports aimed at those families with the lowest incomes,” stated Naughten.
The childcare supports available from this September will include:
- A new universal childcare subsidy for children aged from 6 months up to 36 months (or commencement of the free pre-school programme). This new universal childcare subsidy will benefit up to 33,000 children. For children in full-time, registered childcare, it will amount to €1,000 per annum.
- Significant increases of up to 50% in childcare subvention rates provided under the Community Childcare Subvention Scheme for children aged from 6 months up to 15 years old.
- Up to 23,000 children and their families currently availing of childcare supports under this Scheme will benefit from these increases. For example, parents availing of full-time childcare who currently have had their childcare costs subsidised by €95 per week under this Scheme will see their subvention rate rise to €145 per week.
- Up to 7,000 additional children and their families are expected to benefit from this Scheme for the first time from September due to improved access to this Scheme through a greater number of community/not-for-profit and private childcare providers throughout the country. These children and their families too will benefit from these generous increases in childcare subvention rates.
- Children and families can avail of these new levels of childcare subsidies under a number of circumstances, including if they are in receipt of the Family Income Supplement or of they have a medical card or a GP only card.
- The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is working with the Department of Social Protection, Pobal and a number of Government Departments to build a fully automated online system which will ultimately be used to access and administer childcare supports.