Press release, 18/11/2014: Reduce cost of ‘childcare’ through subsidies, not tax credits says Start Strong
18th Nov 2014 - Start Strong - a coalition of organisations and individuals seeking to advance children’s early care and education in Ireland - has welcomed the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs James Reilly’s recent statement that he will not introduce tax credits as a way of reducing the high cost of ‘childcare’ for parents.
Ciairín de Buis, Director of Start Strong said: “We need to do something about the cost of ‘childcare’, but we need to do it in a way that benefits children. Parents here pay some of the highest costs in the world, but that is no guarantee that their children are getting a high-quality service. The quality of early care and education is very variable in this country. We need to use government funding as a way to ensure no child is in a poor quality service."
“As a country we invest very little in our young children. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recommends spending 1% of GDP on ‘childcare’ services. Ireland spends 0.2% of GDP.
“The debate sparked by the Donna Hartnett letter isn’t just about the high cost of ‘childcare’ though. It’s about how we balance our work and family commitments. We need more flexible working arrangements and longer periods of paid leave for parents. Most parents are just trying to do their best for their children and they need to be supported to do that” added Ms de Buis.