“This will be life-changing for families across Ireland” – Up to €2100 savings per child with €1bn childcare investment
Green Party Minister for Children, Roderic O'Gorman today (27th September) delivered on an historic childcare budget of over €1bn which will see an average 25% cut to childcare fees.
Minister O’Gorman stated;
"The 25% cut to childcare fees in this year's budget will see savings for families of up to €2100 per child. This is another step forward by the Green Party to deliver on a commitment to prioritise families and make Ireland the best place in Europe to raise children. I have now secured over €1bn annual investment in childcare, five years ahead of our original goal to reach this by 2028. As we face into the current cost of living crisis, this will make an immediate impact on money in parents' pockets, but this also marks a permanent increase in investment, and as such, ensures long-term, sustainable reductions to the cost of childcare now and into the future.”
The cuts to childcare fees will be introduced through the National Childcare Scheme. Currently, parents receive 50c off every hour of childcare. This will now increase to €1.40. The exact amount of savings to families will depend on a range of factors, including hours used and location. The change will come into effect in January 2023.
Minister O’Gorman continued;
“This comes hand in hand with an historic pay deal I secured this month, which delivers an immediate increase in wages and job security for childcare workers. These and other measures will be transformative for childcare in Ireland. I will continue to advocate for families in my role as Minister for Children and plan to deliver further improvements and reductions in costs for families to the early learning sector in next year's budget."
Today’s announcement also includes funding for extra childcare places, which has been identified as a particular challenge for parents with children under the age of three.
Senator Pauline O'Reilly, Green Party Chair and Spokesperson for Education added;
“Spearheaded by Green Party Minister Roderic O'Gorman, today's announcements see the most significant investment in early learning and childcare in the history of the state, with an increased investment of €300m to the sector in this year’s budget. This will be life-changing for many families across Ireland struggling with astronomical childcare bills. Minister O'Gorman also announced €59m in order to meet the demand for increased numbers of childcare places, an issue many families are also grappling with. Early childhood is a vital period in children’s learning and development, yet everyone knows that the childcare sector has been chronically underfunded for decades. The Green Party is delivering in government on transformative change to childcare through cuts to fees, improved conditions for childcare workers and significant increases in parental leave.”