February 28, 2020

Nothing done to help Kilkenny parents combat crippling childcare costs, says TD

BUDGET 2020 failed to tackle the crippling cost of childcare for hard-pressed parents, according to a Kilkenny TD.

A recent report released by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs revealed Kilkenny parents are paying an average of €132.25 every week for childcare, or €8,750 a year.

There had been hopes the Government would introduce some measures to alleviate the huge cost burden on young families.

However, Kilkenny TD Kathleen Funchion, who is Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for children, said nothing has been done to combat “skyrocketing” childcare fees.

The mother-of-two added: “Working families will continue to be squeezed through unaffordable rents and mortgages, high costs of living, and ludicrous childcare costs that amount to a second mortgage.

“The new National Childcare Scheme will leave many vulnerable children and single parent families in a worse position than before. There is little evidence of any poverty proofing of Minister Zappone’s new scheme.

“A recent survey conducted by the ACP found that out of 1,127 childcare services involving 34,261 children availing of targeted subsidies, 50% of school aged children will have no entitlement to term time after school or school aged childcare supports under the National Childcare Scheme. This is hugely worrying.”

Deputy Funchion (pictured below) also said no measures were introduced in the Budget to address low pay and poor working conditions in the childcare sector or the ongoing staffing crisis for service providers.

“No detail has been given today on how many social workers or support staff will be provided and which are urgently needed,” she said.


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