Chambers Ireland welcomes today’s (30 January 2017) publication of the Heads of Bill on new Affordable Childcare Scheme by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone TD.
Commenting on the proposed Affordable Childcare Scheme, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive Chambers Ireland said, “Investment in childcare has a positive impact not only on children and parents but also for the wider society and our economy. The cost of childcare is a significant portion of the cost of living for many parents. This affects not only families but also businesses which subsequently may struggle to retain staff, particularly female employees who often opt out of the workforce when faced with unmanageable childcare costs.
“We believe that the availability of the new Affordable Childcare Scheme from September 2017 will give more families access to affordable childcare and should therefore have a positive impact on female labour market participation, making it easier for employers, particularly SMEs, to retain valued staff and meet wages demands.
“Access to affordable childcare is a huge factor in the overall competitiveness of the Irish economy. In fact, the European Commission has urged Government to improve access to affordable childcare, highlighting that without this investment Ireland’s future economic growth would be negatively impacted. Retaining our economic competitiveness must be to the fore of Government policy, particularly as we prepare for Brexit. Ireland must reassert its position as a leading international knowledge economy and it cannot do this if parents are pushed out of the workforce due to high childcare costs. The proposed Scheme is not an overall solution, but a welcome step in the right direction, a step that is good for children, families, businesses and the wider economy.”
Minister’s announcement and the Heads of Bill and General Scheme on the Affordable Childcare Scheme are available at: http://www.dcya.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=4108