Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte says parents who work shifts or are on zero hours contracts could miss out on the Single Affordable Childcare scheme because of their variable work patterns.

“A number of parents have been in touch with my office worried that they will miss out on entitlements under the Single Affordable Childcare scheme as a result of their unsociable work hours.  Nurses, Gardaí and shift workers all see their working hours change week to week but the current scheme doesn’t account for this.

“Some weeks parents may place their kids in childcare on all five days, while on others the children may only attend two or even three days a week.  But under the current system, no allowances have been made to cater for this.  These parents will be faced with a choice of paying for a 5 day week in a crèche, even if their child is only there for 3 days, or only receive subsidy for three days, even on weeks when their child is in crèche five days a week.

“This will affect huge numbers of people, from nurses working shifts to people on zero-hour contracts. It’s totally unacceptable, and again shows why people have no faith in this Government to deliver. They were promised one thing last September, and this September they will be getting something completely different.

“When will Minister Zappone address this issue and finally deliver the promised supports to these parents?”