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Child Care Costs

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Child Care Costs

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Senator


Deputy


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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone)

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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone)

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Katherine Zappone

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Snippet Contents:

As the Deputy will be aware, the factors impacting on the costs across delivery of services in any sector are complex and multifaceted. The cost to childcare providers is affected by many factors such as rates, rent, labour costs, and insurance amongst other things.
The cost to parents to access that childcare is decided by childcare providers taking account of these overheads.
Notwithstanding this, I am committed to ensuring that childcare is affordable, accessible and of a high quality.
The increase in supports I have provided from this month for the next programme year represents a major step towards accessible affordable quality childcare after decades of neglect and under-investment by successive Governments.
There are two supports being rolled out under the Community Childcare Scheme. These include universal non means tested supports of up to €1,040 per year and enhanced supports of up to €7,500 per year to assist families to return to work, and/or training and education.
I am delighted with the strong response from the sector. The number of providers signing up to deliver the services increases daily.
My Department is monitoring the cost of childcare closely and will continue to do so. Initial research from a sampling of services shows that fee increases for full-term services delivering the Community Childcare Scheme (including CCS Plus) rose by €5.26 on average between this programme year (2017/18) and the previous programme year. By way of comparison the fees across all services delivering full-time childcare rose by €7.26 between 2015/16 and 2016/17 following a number of years of price stagnation.
If over the coming weeks or months those percentage increases in fees by service providers were to rise then I will consider whether actions such as regulation or price capping is required for government schemes.
Towards meeting some of the administrative overhead, I announced in recent months payments totalling €3.5m towards 'non contact time' for all childcare providers who register for the enhanced childcare measures under the Community Childcare Scheme. This, in addition to €14.5m that has been already paid to childcare services so far in 2017 in recognition of administration associated with ECCE and other schemes, provides for €18m in 'non-contact time' payments this year.