Kilkenny TD hits out at crippling childcare fees
A Kilkenny TD has cautiously welcomed the Government’s review for the provision of childminding in Ireland. But Deputy Kathleen Funchion says more must be done to address the crippling costs in the sector.
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on children warned: “The high costs (of childcare) are a major barrier for many women returning to the workforce. While I welcome that Minister O’Gorman and the Department for Children are attempting to bring about reform in this wholly unregulated sector, I would have serious reservations with incorporating childminders into the National Childcare Scheme (NCS).~
“The NCS, as it stands, is fraught with problems. The system is overly complicated and, fundamentally, has not addressed the eye-watering fees that many parents face for their childcare.”
Deputy Funchion said the views of creche owners and childcare workers must be heard in the review to have any impact.
She added: “Towards the end of 2020. I conducted an online survey for parents, and fees were the number one issue.
“If I conducted this survey today, I can guarantee that fees would remain the major issue. Sadly, such high costs are a major barrier for many women returning to the workforce.
“But it cannot be understated that this process must be in complete consultation with the sector. Childminders are an integral part of the wider childcare sector, and the service they provide for many families is invaluable,” the Kilkenny TD added.