Dáil debates

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

2:35 pm

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I have never been soft on the insurance industry or on the legal industry when it comes to the issue of insurance; not in the slightest. Our efforts have always been to bring down the cost of insurance, including motor insurance for drivers, as well as employer liability and public liability for businesses. That is our objective and why we brought around these reforms which led to this report we are discussing here today.

On the issue of childcare facilities and crèches, I acknowledge there are many parents worried that their childcare costs will go up in the new year and that their crèche may close. We are aware of this. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is engaging with the sector and with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to see what we can do about it to ensure we do not see crèches closing in the new year. We are particularly conscious of those difficulties with regard to the price or availability of insurance, particularly liability insurance. It is acknowledged that the recent announcement of the withdrawal from the market by one of the insurers providing insurance to childcare providers is a worrying development. This only happened in the past two weeks.

Early learning centres and school-age care services must re-register with Tusla before 31 December. To do so, they must provide proof of an existing insurance policy. They do not need to show proof of future insurance policies. They need to prove they have an existing insurance policy in order to register on 31 December.

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