Local Politicians have spoken out on the recent Affordable Childcare Scheme announcement as it doesn’t benefit parents of children who are not in full time day care.
Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy said that
“Only a minority of parents avail of full time day care (27%) for their children and therefore the childcare plans outlined in the Budget are of no help to those families who are caring for their children at home or who have grandparents taking up the role of carers to the children.”
“The Government was tasked with tackling the childcare crisis that puts many families in a situation where by one parent’s wages is going solely towards childcare costs in the early years and therefore forcing many parents out of the workforce. The new childcare proposal looks good on paper but will have little impact on middle income families. The new plan does nothing for the families who rely on family members for childcare. 47% of families who rely on relatives to mind their children while working will not be able to avail of the payments. It will also leave many parents of children over the age of three who are struggling to balance work and childcare needs no better off.”
“I feel that once again the hard working middle income earners are left without any help in this childcare plan although I welcome the fact that families who earn less than €22,000 will be subsidised but more needs to be done for the “squeezed middle,” concluded Deputy Murphy.
Michael Fitzmaurice said while the Affordable Childcare Scheme was welcome “there is a whole cohort of people who have received no recognition under the new provisions.
People who work late at night or at weekends will miss out again and we know that there are many low income families who have jobs and part time jobs in areas like the hospitality industry and in retail who have to work late hours and at weekends who are affected”
“Also, there has been nothing done for family members like mothers, grandmothers, aunties and uncles who are minding children and are saving the state money too. Women who have given up work to look after their children also deserve some recognition as well. So while this new childcare package has been welcomed in many households there are many more who are missing out and this situation needs to be addressed” he concluded.