Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 23/07/2015. Tags: Education And Politics
New childcare report,
published by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, James Reilly, is proposing major new investment in the childcare sector. The report was prepared by an interdepartmental group and has highlighted options on how to make childcare both more affordable for parents as well as improving the quality of childcare around Ireland.
According to merrionst.ie
the report highlights three major changes where investment will be targeted: including longer parental leave, enhanced ECCE provision (Early Childhood Education Scheme) and a new single subsidy for preschool and school going children.
The report includes proposals for:
• “Additional paid parental leave (which can be taken by either parent) to immediately follow paid maternity leave. Currently only mothers are entitled to take six months maternity leave with 3 and half months more unpaid. New proposed subsidies would allow a father and mother share a second 6 months paid leave.
• Extended ECCE provision to children from: age three, or age three and a half, and until they transition to primary school or reach five and a half years. If implemented, that’s up to two years of care and education provided by the state for preschoolers. Entry could be at any month between September and June, rather than September as at present. Currently children have one year's free preschool.
• A single subvention scheme to cover after pre-school, after-school and out of school childcare up to age 12. This new simplified scheme called would replace all existing targeted schemes including the Community Childcare Subvention Programme (CCS), and the Training and Employment Childcare Programmes (TEC). It would cover both community and private settings, rather than the community sector alone as at present.
• Capping the cost of childcare for working parents at €4.50 an hour and at lower rates for those on low incomes.
However, according to reports there is no time frame for when the plan will be implemented and as such the Report is a 'Discussion Document'. Many of the proposals are expensive and it is likely that it would be a number of years before many of the proposals come into effect. Read full report here.