New plan aimed at improving childcare policy

Childcare support

by HRHQ Editorial Team

Chartered Accountants Ireland has put forward a comprehensive plan to enhance childcare policy, benefiting both providers and parents. This initiative aims to address the challenges faced by working parents and create a more supportive environment.

Supporting Working Parents – The case for better childcare policy, calls for the “Core Funding” scheme, which is designed to subsidise the sector, to be updated and streamlined.

The institute has proposed a series of steps which it said could leave working parents up to €4,500 a year better off and free up vital working capacity in the economy.

The Chartered Accountants’ Supporting Working Parents report says the Republic of Ireland and the UK regularly feature among countries with the highest costs for full-time childcare across Europe.

Currently places for children with unregistered childminders do not attract the same National Childcare Scheme (NCS) funding for parents as creche places, which are highly limited and often difficult to secure. This means a mother-of-two on an average annual wage of €45,000, and paying €24,000 per year for childcare, is left with just €235 per week after paying taxes and childcare fees – an amount which makes returning to the workforce a difficult economic proposition.

Expediting the Government’s plans to enable parents who use childminders that are not registered with Tusla to access the NCS would give parents of up to 80,000 children easier access to subsidised childcare.

Cróna Clohisey, Tax & Public Policy Lead, Chartered Accountants Ireland said

“We know what the challenges are for providers and parents and we welcome the upcoming increases to NCS subsidies. But as a mother of two young children, I’ve seen first-hand the difficulties in securing creche places, the scramble to find a childminder, and the quest to make full-time employment viable for parents. The policy tools to address these are already largely in place, so it is time to move to solutions mode.

“Implementation and awareness are the two major hurdles that need to be overcome, and bolder interventions are now required if effective change is to be achieved in the childcare space. That is where we are now focusing our attention in our proposals to the Government.”

View the report here