Urgent need for Radical Childcare Approach highlighted in EU findings

“Accessible affordable quality childcare a goal worth fighting for”

Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs,

Dr Katherine Zappone

The need to continue the radical new approach to childcare has been highlighted by the latest EU findings showing Ireland continues to invest less than its neighbours, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.

The Minister says the rate of increased investment delivered over the past two years must be maintained. Investment in early years has increased by over 80% since 2015.

Minister Zappone says the preparation of new childcare legislation is in the final stages and will be published within weeks.

The Independent Minister added:

“The EU Social Justice Index which shows that Ireland is behind in investing in pre-primary education has again underlined the urgent need for the reforms which we have started.

Reversing years of under-investment by successive governments was never going to be easy. It was also never going to be achieved in one step.

Already the sector has seen big advancements

·    Families are benefiting from extra supports
·    Capital funding for childcare providers has more than doubled to over €8m
·    Providers are also receiving payments of over €18m a year for administrative work

These are concrete steps which are having a real impact.

As Minister I have been very clear. Changing one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world into one of the best is a hugely ambitious goal – but it is one which we must achieve because it will benefit generations to come.

In the coming weeks we will take the next step with the publication of legislation.”

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