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Child Care Services Staff

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Deputy Katherine Zappone

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Snippet Contents:

I thank the Deputy. The measures that I introduced in budget 2018 were very strategic and came after much reflection on how, having introduced many measures in budget 2017 which are now beginning to kick in for families, we could focus particularly on quality issues in 2018, as well as looking at ways in which our quality focus can continue to ensure that the cost for families can be more affordable. The increase in the capitation rate, for the first time ever, is clearly income that will go to child care providers. It is there for staff and for other costs, but as the Deputy well knows, the primary cost in the provision of child care is staffing. The Department have made a significant contribution, in the context of the concerns around pay. In addition, the extension by up to four months of the free pre-school for many children also increases the income of the provider. Those are two examples, not to mention the €18 million for programme support, of ways in which I am continuing to invest in the services in order to support the increased pay and conditions.