'Halve childcare costs' Government urged

The Government must halve childcare costs for parents over the next five years, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) will say today.

The Government must halve childcare costs for parents over the next five years, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) will say today.

Minister for Finance Brian Cowen is under pressure to announce a multi-annual package of measures in December’s Budget.

But the NWCI will today call for a public-funded childcare system for Ireland with maternity and paternity leave, a 50% reduction of costs to parents and early childhood care and education.

“The NWCI model will also make comparisons with childcare models in the UK, Britain and Canada,” a spokesperson said.

National Economic & Social Forum chairperson Maureen Gaffney addressed the annual Fianna Fail parliamentary party meeting on the issue in Co Cavan last week.

She called for a national training and registration scheme for childminders.

The average creche place in Dublin costs a family around €6,000 a year.

The NWCI’s ’An Accessible Childcare Model’ will be launched by junior equality minister Frank Fahey later today.

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