Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs

Insurance Cover for Crèches: Discussion

Photo of Alan FarrellAlan Farrell (Dublin Fingal, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

It has been repeated that this is a solutions-based meeting and we wanted to get as much information as possible into the public domain primarily to try to ameliorate the distress and concern, which is completely justified. I received two calls from parents in my constituency while walking from the Dáil Chamber to this committee room. I know all Members will have received emails.

I welcome the additional programme support payment and hope that will go some way towards making it a little easier for the firms that the Minister has mentioned are facing an increase of approximately 100% on the premia they were paying. One of the biggest and most important components of this industry, when we compare what is being done across the board, is the maintenance of databases and the provision of clear information. It would be very helpful to the Department, Pobal and others to have a central database of premia for the childcare industry. It would allow those firms compare themselves with others that are of a similar size. I do not trust the insurance industry. I do not think anybody in this room does. It has been telling us porky pies for quite some time. That is clear from the Central Bank report and other reports. It would help the childcare industry to have a transparent way of determining what other service providers are paying because there is no existing way for them to do that other than calling and assuming they will get the correct answer.

Tusla is doing its job on the regulatory side in ensuring that service providers are up to date. To go back to one of our previous meetings about the RTÉ "Prime Time" programme and the standards and the reports in the public domain, this emphasises the importance of Tusla's ensuring that those reports are online and available to parents, the public and the insurers. As we well know, if we give them any excuse, they will up the premium. In an industry with only one service provider, we have to recognise that we must do everything we can to reduce the excuses that the insurance industry provides.


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