Review of childcare schemes won’t create more places says Minister
Budget cut by €384m between 2008 and 2011, €14m increase in the last three years, says Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald: “Any overall increase in supports is likely to require additional investment”. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
A review of Government-sponsored childcare schemes that support more than 100,000 children aims to make them more effective but is unlikely to result in more capacity, the Dáil has heard. Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said “any overall increase in supports is likely to require additional investment”.
Some €260 million is provided annually to support childcare programmes, including €175 million for the free pre-school year. However, Ms Fitzgerald said €384 million or 60 per cent of the childcare budget was cut between 2008 and 2011. Funding increased by €14 million in the past three years.
Fianna Fáil spokesman on children Robert Troy referred to a recent Indecon report commissioned by Donegal County Childcare Committee and an OECD report. Both highlighted how the cost of childcare was preventing young families from returning to the workforce. He asked what the Minister would do about these schemes to “support families that urgently need the State’s help”.
Ms Fitzgerald said she believed the review of schemes would “give us more effective targeting”.