Childcare crisis: Growing fears Kilkenny créches will be forced to close in New Year
A short-term emergency fund is needed to cover the insurance crisis facing over a thousand créches to ensure their doors stay open in the New Year, a Kilkenny TD has said.
Deputy Kathleen Funchion, who is Sinn Fein’s children and youth affairs spokesperson, has warned childcare services in Kilkenny and across the country faces an unprecedented crisis over spiralling insurance costs.
“We cannot have a scenario where creches will be closed after Christmas. Assurances on insurance costs given by Taoiseach [Leo Varadkar] are not enough. We need to guarantee needed that crèches that can’t afford new premiums will be assisted.
“A short-term emergency fund to assist those in crisis needs to be established immediately. If Alliance are to become the new insurer for the sector, the proposed €60 per child per year must be the maximum. However, this may still be a lot more than what some crèches were paying previously.”
The Kilkenny TD called on Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone to immediately outline “what measures the Government will take to make to ensure this happens”.
She added: “We need a guarantee that this crisis will not result in increased fees for parents. I will be meeting with Minister Zappone for an emergency meeting where I will raise this with her and insist that a strong guarantee is needed for the creches affected.”
“Workers and families need a break and the government cannot sit on its hands with such high uncertainty facing so many people.