Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has welcomed the announcement last week by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Charlie Flanagan TD and the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD that the afterschool childcare programme and the community employment childcare programme will both be improved in order to increase the level of access to these programmes for low income families.
“I am delighted that the community employment childcare and the afterschool childcare programme are being expanded to provide a greater level of access for low income families. This will be encouraging news for many parents throughout Dublin Fingal.”
“From Monday, July 14th, the eligibility criteria for the afterschool childcare programme will expand to provide places to those whose are in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Jobseeker’s Benefit and also those who receive One-Parent Family payments and participate in a Department of Social Protection employment programme. Minister Flanagan has also made provisions for new after-school childcare places with a pick-up service at no additional cost to the customer, with the cost being funded by the Department through an increased subsidy to the childcare provider. Furthermore, the subsidised childcare places for community employment participants will now being available for those with primary school children up to 13 years of age which is an increase from the current age limit of 5 years.”
“Childcare costs can act as a deterrent in relation to getting people back to work. It is essential that the support is provided to families to allow parents to return to work and these measures complement the Government’s goal of getting people back to work. With the youngest population in the State, these changes will assist in relieving the pressure felt by many parents throughout the constituency.”