Wednesday, 18 May 2022
Ceisteanna - Questions
Childcare is a massive issue for parents in every constituency. Ireland has some of the most expensive childcare costs in Europe and we need clarity on how it is proposed to reduce fees for parents, to improve pay and conditions for staff and to improve the availability of places for children. In Limerick on Monday, I visited two brilliant childcare and early years education services, namely, Northside Family Resource Centre and Our Lady of Lourdes Childworld in Rosbrien. I was asked whether the Government's new funding model will build in recognition of places offering early childhood care and education in disadvantaged settings and whether there will be a delivering equality of opportunity in schools, DEIS, style mechanism for childcare settings where there are added needs and where additional resources may be required. In principle, we need to see rapid action on this from the Government because there is so little availability of childcare places and so many parents are struggling with the fees.