Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Childcare Services

Photo of Niamh SmythNiamh Smyth (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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1116. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the insurance arrangements that will be put in place in respect of childcare workers providing childcare to health workers; and if these arrangements will incur an additional cost on parents or providers. [5826/20]

Photo of Katherine ZapponeKatherine Zappone (Dublin South West, Independent)
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As the Deputy will be aware,  I announced on 13 May that the Temporary Childcare Scheme for Essential Health Workers would not proceed from 18 May as planned. Unfortunately, uptake for the scheme among early learning and care and school aged care providers was much lower than was hoped, for a variety of reasons, and so the scheme had to be cancelled. 

Photo of Anne RabbitteAnne Rabbitte (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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1117. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if childminders can continue to care for children in their own home as opposed to going to the home of the child, as long as they are adhering to social distancing, hygiene and other public health advice; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5827/20]

Photo of Katherine ZapponeKatherine Zappone (Dublin South West, Independent)
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As per HSE guidance and in accordance with the regulations under the Health (Preservation and Protection and Other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2000, childminders who care for the children of essential workers in the children's home were permitted to continue working after childcare facilities were closed on 12 March, and are themselves considered essential workers.

The HSE guidance specifies that at present childminding should not take place in the carer’s home, in order to avoid households mixing.

Phase 3 of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, which is currently scheduled to begin on 29 June, provides for the opening of childminders (along with the opening of creches and preschools) for essential workers, in a phased manner.

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