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Press release, 24/04/2015: Tax credits are not the solution to our ‘childcare’ crisis, says Start Strong

Girl and practitioner with legoDublin 24th April 2015 - In response to Fianna Fáil’s proposals to address the current ‘childcare crisis’ launched today [Friday 24th April] – Ciairín de Buis, Director of Start Strong, a coalition group campaigning to improve government policy in early years in Ireland said,

“Tax credits are not the answer to the ‘childcare’ crisis in this country. There are better ways to make 'childcare' more affordable, that will work for children and their parents.

"We need something that will benefit children by improving quality, as well as benefiting their parents by making 'childcare' more affordable. Tax credits will do nothing for quality, and won’t make 'childcare' more affordable for those who need it the very most.”

“Research from the OECD shows that the best way to make ‘childcare’ both affordable and high quality is to directly subsidise places in early year services, and tie that funding to quality. We need to learn from other countries and not to repeat their mistakes.” added Ms de Buis.

Fianna Fáil

“On the positive side, we welcome Fianna Fáil plans to move towards a second earlier universal pre-school year to benefit younger children as well as their commitment to improve quality in services and move towards a graduate-led workforce, and we agree that the existing childcare subvention scheme should be widened so all parents who are eligible can access the scheme regardless of where they live.

"Similarly, we welcome their proposal to increase maternity leave as a step towards allowing a parent to be at home for the first year of their child’s life. However, it is the time from 6 months on that should be ‘shareable’ rather than the existing maternity leave if we are to do best by babies.”

Investment needed

“As a country we invest very little in our young children. The average investment in OECD countries is 0.8% GDP. In Ireland we invest less than 0.2%.

As the economy begins to move out of recession now is the time for the Government to start increasing investment in our young children. We need to spend more, and we need to spend it wisely” added Ms de Buis

/Ends/

For more information please contact Ms Tressan McCambridge 087 295 9344 or Ms Ciairín de Buis 087 1207 103

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