Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Early Childhood Care and Education
1108. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her Department is considering changes to the ECCE capitation payments to childcare providers in view of the potential impact of social distancing on childcare providers capacity. [5563/20]
On Friday 1 May the Government released its Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, which sets out Ireland's plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions through five phases. The re-opening of Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare (ELC and SAC) services will be guided by this framework and will be underpinned by the Return to Work Safely Protocol, expert advice, available evidence and consultation with ELC and SAC stakeholder representatives.
My Department is currently developing and costing proposals for the phases of reopening in line with the Roadmap. This is complex work and must balance a number of important issues. Informed by NPHET guidance, consideration is being given to a range of issues, including ensuring the financial sustainability of the sector when capacity restrictions limit income and parents cannot afford to cover higher costs through higher fees.