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

We understand the concerns of providers as they do need to have insurance cover to provide services.

Childcare services are mostly private businesses and are expected to cover their costs from the income they receive. Insurance costs have not been raised as a significant issue with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs until the recent withdrawal of one of the underwriters on 6 December. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Pobal offer a case management system for services suffering sustainability difficulties, mainly in the community childcare sector. Services should contact their local childcare committee to access available supports such as advice or business planning. For community providers, financial supports can also be made available after an assessment. This process is managed by the childcare committees and Pobal.

The Government cannot compel insurance companies to stay in the Irish market. Consequently, we need to ensure the insurance market is attractive for such insurers in order to generate greater competition and thus improve overall current capacity and the pricing position. Critical to achieving this is bringing award levels for so-called “soft tissue” injuries down in this country and more in line with other jurisdictions. The report of the NCID, national claims information database, corroborates this with the cost of injury claims increasing by 54% since 2005.

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