Budget must address high childcare costs
Labour spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Sean Sherlock TD has said that the ESRI-Pobal study confirming high childcare costs are a barrier to women staying in the workplace won’t be a surprise to parents across Ireland, and that the Government must deliver increased investment in the Budget.
Deputy Sherlock said:
“As the third budget of this Government approaches, there has still been little action to address the escalating costs of childcare. In many parts of the country parents are paying over €1,000 a month per child.
“The upcoming Budget in October must address high childcare costs, by providing an increased subsidy to both parents, and providers. More action is also needed to ensure staff in the sector receive a proper salary commensurate with their qualifications and duty of care to our children.
“The evidence is clear that the costs of care are acting as a barrier to parents staying in the workforce and in particular women.
“Despite the introduction of new subsidies in 2016 and the extension of the ECCE scheme; the cost of full time childcare has continued to increase.
“If the Affordable Childcare Scheme is to mean anything to parents, it must provide a realistic benefit to parents, and reduce costs. The last budget didn’t deliver anything additional in terms of direct supports to parents.
“The Minister must act in the Budget to deliver the level of funding needed to put Ireland on a par with other OECD countries. We invest just 0.2% of GDP compared to an OECD average of 0.7%. We have one of the highest costs with some of the lowest direct subsidies. That is not sustainable and the Government must deliver in October.”