Kilkenny TD unveils wide-ranging plans to reform crisis-hit childcare sector
A Kilkenny TD today unveiled ambitious plans to reform Ireland’s childcare sector.
Deputy Kathleen Funchion, who is also Sinn Fein’s front bench spokesperson on children, brought a Private Members Bill before the Dáil earlier today.
Her motion calls for increased annual funding for the crisis-hit sector, a plan to incrementally reduce fees charged to parents, as well as better pay and working conditions for staff.
Deputy Funchion said: “I am proud to be publishing this motion today, to compel the Government to finally face up to much needed and long overdue reform of the childcare sector.
“The cost of childcare has been allowed to spiral to eye-watering amounts which simply aren’t affordable for ordinary families. For many parents, it is equivalent to having to pay for a second mortgage every month.
“Ireland has some of the highest childcare costs in the EU. This is unfair and unsustainable.
“The absence of a proper childcare system is economically damaging as it forces parents, especially mothers, out of the workforce.
“My motion contains an ambitious and comprehensive plan for the childcare sector to tackle this. It includes yearly funding increases for the sector to ensure long-term investment, as well as a plan to incrementally reduce fees which can be charged to parents to ensure lower, fairer costs for families.”
The Kilkenny TD said her bill will also deliver better pay and conditions for workers in the childcare sector.
The local poll general election topper added: ” Workers in the early years sectors are highly qualified and skilled, yet are often paid minimum wage. They deserve fair pay.
“I am calling on TDs from all parties to back this motion when it comes to the Dáil. The scandal of childcare costs has gone on for long enough. It’s time to tackle this and replace it with a system which is fair for children, parents and early years staff.”
*To view Deputy Funchion’s motion in full, click here