Dáil passes bill to help reduce childcare costs

Katherine Zappone

Parents will soon be legally entitled to more financial support to help cover the cost of childcare.

The Childcare Support Bill passed all stages of the Oireachtas last night - and the law will take effect in the next few days.

The Childcare Support Bill 2017 was published in December and has received widespread, cross-party support as it travelled through the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone told the Dáil that she hopes the legislation will have a positive effect.

"Affordable quality childcare can generate many vital and long-lasting benefits for children, for women, for families, for our economy, for society at large," said Ms Zappone.

In order to ensure access to quality childcare, we have to make childcare more affordable and the bill provides the legal basis for doing just that.

Through financial support the scheme aims to improve access, assist families to return to work and training, reduce child poverty and improve outcomes for children.

“I believe everyone is aware of the importance of delivering accessible, affordable, quality childcare to families in Ireland. It is a key priority of this government and will require sustained investment and momentum over the coming years to achieve the childcare system that families in Ireland both need and deserve,” said Minister Zappone.

“In establishing the Affordable Childcare Scheme, the Bill creates a platform with the ability to flex and expand to allow more children and families to benefit from greater State investment in childcare in the years ahead.

"In short, it is an essential foundation for my pledge to transform our childcare system from one of the most expensive in the world to one of the best. We cannot make that step-change without it."

The development of the administrative and IT infrastructure for the new scheme is under way and Minister Zappone will outline timescales for the launch of the scheme once the external IT developer is fully in place.

Parents interested in knowing more about their childcare entitlements should go to affordablechildcare.ie

Digital Desk

More on this topic

Ireland has third highest childcare costs, study shows Ireland has third highest childcare costs, study shows

Over 2,000 providers sign up to national childcare schemeOver 2,000 providers sign up to national childcare scheme

Weekly childcare bill in Northern Ireland ‘highest in UK’Weekly childcare bill in Northern Ireland ‘highest in UK’

Ill-judged full-time work incentive for mothers not what children needIll-judged full-time work incentive for mothers not what children need

More in this Section

'I visit her grave every day': Santina Cawley's mum heartbroken at thought of life her daughter won't get to live 'I visit her grave every day': Santina Cawley's mum heartbroken at thought of life her daughter won't get to live

Eamon Ryan would be open to Green Party going into GovernmentEamon Ryan would be open to Green Party going into Government

Grieve accuses Johnson of Brexit ‘radicalisation’ over Irish backstopGrieve accuses Johnson of Brexit ‘radicalisation’ over Irish backstop

Dad of gifted student with special needs appeals for 'invaluable' resource class to stay openDad of gifted student with special needs appeals for 'invaluable' resource class to stay open


Lifestyle

It's hard to build a reputation in gaming, but it can be even harder to keep one.Game Tech: Dragon Quest Builders sequel builds on first outing

Tea dunking is not just for cosy winter evenings. Biscuits are handy in the summer months for picnics or to keep you going on long hikes.Michelle Darmody's tricks for perfect home made biscuits

Apply sunscreen throughout the day, says Helen O’CallaghanBurning issue: Children's skin needs added protection from the sun

Skincare guru Dr Raj Arora explains how this cleansing technique can make a big difference.Why you should follow the 60 second rule when washing your face, according to an expert

More From The Irish Examiner