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16th Jun 2020

Childcare fees are set to be capped under new government budget

Melissa Carton

The National Early Years protest

Great news for parents.

In the last year many parents and early years educators have called for government help when it comes to the rising cost of childcare.

Earlier this year alone, childcare providers took to the streets to protest against low wages for childcare staff and high childcare costs for parents.

Recently the government has said that it plans to cap childcare costs which should be signed off on this week.

The plan is to have all childcare and crèche fees capped to ensure the same level of care regardless of parental income.

The leaders of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party are set to meet and sign off on the programme in the coming days.

If this new programme goes ahead it will make a huge difference for both parents and childcare providers alike.

The hope is to eventually create a new State-led model of childcare in Ireland, based on what is currently provided in countries like Norway.

The new programme will also includes a commitment to extend parental leave (Leo Varadkar has already mentioned plans to extend maternity leave by three months) and the expansion of payments like the Affordable Childcare Scheme to cover childminders as well as crèches.

As a parent of two children I’ll be interested to see what this new programme looks like in its entirety, but given the current childcare crisis that we’re in it can only help to improve the situation.

According to RTE, speech and language, occupational and other therapies will also be part of the programme, helping not only parents requiring childcare.

We will keep you updated with any further developments on the new childcare programme.