Friday, 7 September 2018
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Child Care Costs
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.