Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow-Kilkenny John McGuinness is calling for local childcare facilities to be exempt from local authority rates. The Deputy wants to see crèches, pre-schools and Montessori schools relieved of rates charges in order to maintain their viability.
“Childcare providers’ services have expanded dramatically over the past number of years with practically all facilities providing educational activities. As educators, these centres should not be subjected to commercial rates, and should be viewed in a similar light as schools”, said Deputy McGuinness.
“There’s a real fear in the Carlow-Kilkenny area that some pre-schools and crèches may close if they’re faced with new rates. The cost could spiral into the thousands, which could be the difference between keeping a viable business operational and a decision to close it down. Many of these facilities are already finding it difficult to stay in business, with electricity and gas prices on the rise, increasing rents and an escalation in education costs. Additional rates could be an extra payment that pushes these businesses over the edge.
“Parents are also concerned that any additional costs forced onto crèches will be passed on to them. Many parents are paying the equivalent of a second mortgage on childcare and it’s unfair to expect them to subsume an extra levy on top of that. Any extra cost could force working mothers or fathers out of the workplace and back into the home to look after their children if childcare costs become unsustainable. Not only will that be lost revenue for the childcare facility, but there’ll also be a tax reduction for the State if parents have to give up work.
“A number of local authorities have already decided not to impose rates on childcare providers and I’m appealing to the councils in Carlow and Kilkenny to follow suit. These facilities play a huge role in the pre-school education of our children and should be categorised along with other educational providers. Any deviance from this could result in fewer crèches and pre-schools, as well as higher costs for parents”.