Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 22/06/2015. Tags: Education And Politics
Early childhood care and education (ECCE), as well as after school care provision (ASC), are totally inadequate and too expensive for people on lower incomes, according to the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP).
In its pre-budget submission entitled "Investing in what matters"
SVP says, "This is particularly true for one parent families currently being required by Government to take up employment or increase their working hours"
SVP is seeking an extension of the Community Childcare Subvention to all early year services, both community and private. It is also seeking an extension of the current universal Early Childhood Care and Education programme to 3 hours per day, 5 days a week, from 38 weeks to 48 weeks per year.
In calling for further investment in ECCE and ASC provision the Society says that facilitating female participation in the labour market and making a decisive impact on breaking the cycle of disadvantage are hinged on investment in ECCE and ASC policy.
It says that the current ECCE scheme has a 95% take-up rate, indicating the demand among parents. However it says the offer is limited, providing inadequate support for parents seeking employment.
SVP also says that there is much complexity in the operation of the various schemes, they need to be subsumed,reconfigured and made more user-friendly.
While SVP welcomes the reduced unemployment figures it says that Ireland is not close to its policy goal of 'making work pay' for people whose earnings potential is relatively low. “Wages and welfare supports are crucial – but so are affordable, quality services,” says SVP.
The Society believes that there is no political will to make real change in how we allocate resources that will give an equal opportunity to all our citizens.
“Government should invest in a level and type of social provision that will ensure greater participation for low income households in the economic recovery, and break the cycle of poverty and inter-generational disadvantage facing many people we assist, says SVP.
"Long term sustained investment in public services is essential if Ireland is serious about tackling inequality, reducing poverty traps, achieving positive health and well-being outcomes for people and encouraging access to work. We need to invest wisely in early childhood care and education, social housing and warmer homes. We need to invest in what matters." it says.
Read the full report here.