A new report from the National Recruitment Federation, arguing for the State to use the children’s allowance to provide additional creches, has been condemned by Galway Green candidate Pauline O’Reilly.
Reacting to the report, Ms O’Reilly said that “looking at childcare as a form of labour market activation” was a “dangerous model for our community.” She said removing child benefit to pay for creches would be “a retrograde step” especially as families have “higher rents due to the fact they need more space and have fewer incomes, as children are not earners”.
Ms O’Reilly said that while organisations are “entitled to make budgetary submissions”, families, with Government support, are “should be making decisions over childcare, not recruitment companies”. She pointed out that the Central Statistics Office had asked parents about preferences for childcare and that there was a variety of responses, including crechés, childminders, stay-at-home parents, and relatives.
Ms O’Reilly, who is the Green’s spokesperson on children and youth affairs, as well as party candidate for Galway West, said flexibility was vital when it comes to childcare, saying it allows “those who choose to stay home continue to be supported”, and makes “working outside of the home a respected choice, not an economic necessity”.
The Green Party is calling for the State to adopt a childcare model similar to that which operates in Finland, which would see “heavily subsidises” for creches and supports for those who care in the home.