Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Childcare Services

Photo of Joe O'BrienJoe O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Green Party)
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1092. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the situation of a Montessori facility (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3459/20]

Photo of Katherine ZapponeKatherine Zappone (Dublin South West, Independent)
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From 2017 to December 2019 there were two insurance underwriters offering insurance to the childcare sector in Ireland – Allianz and Ironshore.  On the 6th December Ironshore notified their 1,300 clients that they would be withdrawing from the market.  On 17th December, the broker who had provided the Ironshore underwriting services informed their customers that they had failed to get a new underwriter to take over their client base.  This left only Allianz offering insurance to the sector.

I understand that Allianz provided quotations to almost all of Ironshore’s customers, on the same basis as existing Allianz customers.  I acknowledge that for most Ironshore customers this resulted in increased insurance premiums. 

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that a second insurance provider entered the market just before Christmas.  Cullen Insurances, an underwriter based in Limerick, launched a new insurance product for childcare providers, underwritten by Sava Re.  This returns competition to the insurance market in the childcare sector. 

My Department is continuing to monitor the insurance options available to providers.

The cost of insurance will be included in future Early Years Sectoral Profiles, which are published annually by Pobal.  This will enable my Department to keep insurance costs in the sector under review.

 My Department oversees a case management system through which Pobal and local Childcare Committees offer assistance to services experiencing financial or governance difficulties


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