Tuesday, 6 July 2021
Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed) - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
In its terms of reference, the expert group established by the former Minister, Dr. Katherine Zappone, was specifically asked to examine what I believe was described as "a DEIS-type model" of childcare. That is being looked at. We hope the expert group will report by November of this year. As I have said to the Deputy previously, the NCS is two years old. A significant change has been rolled out in the middle of the Covid pandemic. We must accept that there is an element of bedding the system down. However, I also recognise that a system that works very well on the macro level can sometimes have impacts on the micro level. I welcome the Deputy's engagement and that of other Deputies and Senators who have voiced concerns about impacts in certain areas. I will continue to listen. We have introduced some short-term measures. The safety net of the sustainability fund is available. We commit to continue to look at that issue and act on the data we receive.