Clarity needed around NCS payments so creche staff aren’t in limbo – Rabbitte

Published on: 12 March 2020


Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte has called for clarity around whether payments to childcare facilities will continue while crèches are closed and the potential impact on staff.

The government announced this morning that childcare facilities around the country will close from 6pm this evening until March 29th. Childcare providers receive state subsidies through the National Childcare Scheme for all children in their facility while operational.

Deputy Rabbitte commented: “Childcare providers need clarity around what happens to the NCS payments they would otherwise have received if their facilities weren’t forced to close due to spread of Covid-19. The Department has previously indicated that such payments would stop if a service isn’t in operation, but this situation is unprecedented so this needs to be cleared up. This impacts providers and staff, which in turn impacts families.

“While owners and staff know they must close and do their bit to help curb the spread of Covid-19, many providers will need to keep paying their staff while closed. In this regard, it’s important for the Minster for Children and Youth Affairs to clarify if NCS payments will be docked each day a service is closed or not. If this revenue does not continue, it puts staff in a very precarious situation. They need to know where they stand with their income.

“While some businesses can accommodate remote working, this is not the case with childcare providers. Nobody wants to put anyone at risk and everyone understands we’re in unchartered territory and people’s health comes first.

“Clarity is also needed around whether there’s an onus on employers to continue paying staff forced to take time off to mind their children in light of these closures. I’ve already had parents on to me know if the state will intervene if employers are unable to pay staff taking time off to mind their children.

“To get through this, clear communication is key so I’m hopeful that the Minister and her department will provide people with the clarity that’s needed at this time,” concluded Deputy Rabbitte.

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