Childcare sector’s reaction to government’s central funding announcement

Childhood Services Ireland, the Ibec trade association for childcare providers, has said there is ‘a mixed reaction' from services in the sector following the Government’s announcement on new core funding for the sector.

Under the Department of Children’s plans, smaller ECCE services will only receive a minimal increase in core funding while full daycare providers are obliged to freeze parental fees amid rapidly rising costs due to inflation.

"Under the Government’s plans, parental fees will be frozen at 2021 levels in an attempt to maintain costs for parents. However, many smaller services have not raised their fees in over five years.

"Also, ECCE services are only going to see a very minimal increase in state funding despite rapidly rising inflation and operating costs. The Government’s intention is to freeze parental fees as a trade-off for increased funding to cover rising operating costs and wages, but is not going to be a fair trade-off for many services.

"With rising inflation, there is real concern that any increase to funding will be lost and with no ability to increase parental fees, services may face uncertainty. As we saw in the pandemic, childcare is an essential service and the Government really needs to ensure providers have certainty and confidence about what the future holds," Childhood Services Ireland’s Director, Darragh Whelan, said.

 

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