Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs
Insurance Cover for Crèches: Discussion
I welcome the Minister, who is appearing before us at short notice but with potential solutions. I am seeking a greater degree of clarity around the programme support payment of €1,500. I wish to show the Minister examples whereby, notwithstanding the process that providers have been through, in particular providers of long standing who have always been compliant and whose risk profiles have not increased, providers who are today able to get insurance are being told that the cost will increase twofold in one instance, fourfold in another and sixfold in another with which I am familiar. Notwithstanding everything that the Minister is saying and the exit from the market of a certain insurance operator, even where providers' risk profiles have not increased because they have always been compliant as per Child and Family Agency and HSE regulations, their premia costs are increasing. One is left with the impression that the insurance companies are taking advantage of the lacuna in the market by stepping in to profit from the challenge facing providers.
How will the programme support payment be divided? Is it a one-off payment for every provider? What formula will be used? Under what heading will it be done? Will it be deemed a supplementary payment to meet the cost of overheads? Will it be a direct grant just by dint of the fact that someone is a provider? Is it the case that providers can benefit without having to go through a rigorous process? The Minister will be conscious of the fact that many providers will benefit from the time extension, but as public representatives, we are all conscious that the capital costs incurred by providers to become compliant and continue their operations have put them into debt.