Written answers

Friday, 7 September 2018

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Child Care Costs

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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1320. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her views on the findings of a report (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36909/18]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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I note the report referred to by the Deputy.

Government policy is to provide additional supports for parents and their children through increased services rather than increased cash transfers. This includes such services as free early-years education through the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme, and enhanced provision of affordable childcare. These areas are a matter for my colleague the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

However, it should be noted that in Budget 2018 I introduced a range of measures that would benefit lone parent families. Firstly from 29 March 2018 the weekly rates of payment increased by €5 and the qualified child payment increased by €2 per week.

The earnings disregard on the lone parent schemes increased from €110 per week to €130 per week allowing a lone parent on One-Parent Family payment or Jobseeker's Transitional payment to earn an additional €20 per week before it affects their payment.


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