‘Affordability and access to childcare two of the biggest challenges parents faced with’
Sligo News File Online
The annual cost of childcare is proving unsustainable for many parents in the North West, according to Fianna Fail.
Commenting ahead of a major public meeting on childcare in Sligo tomorrow night, the party’s national spokesman on Children and Youth Affairs, Robert Troy said two of the biggest challenges facing parents throughout the region are “affordability and access to childcare provision.
“The average family is forking out around €16,500 a year to cover costs for two children, and for many these costs are proving unsustainable.
“Many parents are struggling to cope with crèche and childminding fees amounting to a second mortgage in some instances,” he said
The meeting, tomorrow evening, 10 October, has been organised by party members, and general election candidates, Senator Marc MacSharry and Eamon Scanlon. It is being hosted at the Glasshouse Hotel, starting at 7 pm. The attendance will include representatives from the Sligo Preschool Association.
Mr. Troy said that “earlier this year Fianna Fáil launched a comprehensive plan to make childcare more affordable through the introduction of Progressive Childcare Support Credit for working parents so that high quality childcare is made available to them. This credit would cover up to 40% of a family’s childcare bill, allowing them to avail of childcare and facilitating a return to work for parents who chose to do so.
“Our policy also commits to a second free pre-school year for children aged 2-3. This will afford a better opportunity to children to achieve their full potential from an early age.”
The meeting, he added, will provide parents and childcare workers with the opportunity to discuss the issues they’re facing from an industry and parental point of view.