Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Wage Subsidy Scheme

Photo of Jennifer WhitmoreJennifer Whitmore (Wicklow, Social Democrats)
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1160. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the percentage of childcare providers that have signed up for the WSCS to date; the reasons given by childcare providers to her Department for not signing up to the wage subsidy scheme as indicated in correspondence; if there are ongoing consultations with those providers not signed up in an effort to address challenges or barriers to signing up to the scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6952/20]

Photo of Katherine ZapponeKatherine Zappone (Dublin South West, Independent)
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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented situation that has required a series of emergency responses from the Government.

I launched the Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS) on 15 April. This scheme is a very significant measure to support the sector and reflects the particular impact the pandemic has had on early education and childcare providers.

I can confirm that as of 18 May, 3,815 childcare providers have signed up to participate in the TWSCS – this represents 84% of childcare providers. The TWSCS continues to remain open to providers to continue to sign up to and apply for supports under the TWSCS.

The Department, and Pobal on behalf of the Department, continues to engage with the childcare sector in order to assist and inform providers on the TWSCS. For example, the Department has issued a Frequently Asked Questions document to assist providers in their understanding of the TWSCS and Pobal has issued a number of communications on the Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP) to providers outlining the operation of and application process for the TWSCS.

In addition, Pobal operates an Early Years Provider Centre to respond to any queries that providers may have in relation to the TWSCS. The only substantive feedback received thus far has been with regard to clarification on certain scheme elements, such as interaction with the Revenue Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. DCYA has worked with partners to address key issues and guidance material has been updated accordingly.

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