12 June 2017
By Elaine Murphy
New website affordablechildcare.ie
From September Cork families will benefit from more affordable childcare and Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, is encouraging parents to take time to check out their rights.
“Since first entering Government, Fine Gael has prioritised hard pressed working families; the people who bore the brunt of the economic recession. A major part of this commitment has been reducing the cost of childcare for working parents.
“We introduced the free pre-school year, and subsequently extended it to a second year. It is estimated the extended scheme provides an average saving of €4,000 per child.
“We also recently introduced paternity leave; Irish fathers are now, for the first time, entitled to two weeks’ paid leave.
“From September an estimated 70,000 children nationwide will get extra supports, which will really benefit families in Cork.
“Families will benefit in two ways. First there is a universal support for all children aged 3 and under then there are supports for those families who need it most. The second targeted support is based on income and also for those parents who have had to turn down jobs, training and education because they cannot afford childcare.
“I now encourage parents in Cork to take the time to study the increased supports which are available and prepare for the autumn by checking out the new website affordablechildcare.ie or by talking to staff at your local childcare centre.
“As Minister for Childcare Katherine Zappone has said, this is the first big step, but there is still much work to be done in this area. I am assured that the Minister is focused on quality of childcare, accessibility and also recognition for the workers who provide services.