Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte has expressed her concern following Minister Katherine Zappone’s admission that she has no deadline for the full implementation of the Single Affordable Childcare scheme.
Despite the fanfare surrounding the Government’s childcare scheme, the reality of the situation is that around 9,000 middle income families will miss out on the subsidy they were initially promised. Some parents will be forking out up to €194 euro a week for childcare.
Deputy Rabbitte explained, “Minister Zappone rushed through the Single Affordable Childcare scheme before doing any of the groundwork needed to actually implement this important programme. There have been multiple media announcements and briefings about the scheme but we are still waiting on the legislation and the IT infrastructure to deliver it. The Department is now relying on the GP visit card and medical card system to roll out the service – thereby excluding families who do not qualify for these supports.
“Under this so-called “affordable” scheme, families in Cork are facing weekly co-payments of €166, Waterford parents will be paying €142 a week, and in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin the contribution is a massive €194 a week. Fianna Fáil wants to see costs for families reduced, particularly when it comes to childcare. Many parents are paying the equivalent of a second mortgage to cover their childcare costs – this is putting huge pressure on these families and needs to be addressed in a meaningful way and not just through token gestures.
“The Minister has still not outlined a deadline for the full delivery of the Single Affordable Childcare scheme. This is disgraceful neglect of some of Ireland’s most stretched households, and we will be calling on Minister Zappone to take real action to deliver on this”, concluded Deputy Rabbitte.