Government consultations about providing subsidies for those using childminders are concerned with the needs of families, but "purely concerned with the tax take" this could yield.
This is the view of Green Party Galway City West councillor, and party spokesperson on children and youth affairs, Pauline O'Reilly. She said that while she welcomed subsidies for those using childminders, there was also a need to "support all families equally".
"Unpaid care needs to be supported too," she said. "Despite pleas to have stay-at-home parents recognised as providing a valuable service to society, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has consistently said that she will not support families who do not use crèches or paid childminders."
Cllr O'Reilly said the childcare model being touted by the Government was the wrong approach. "We need a public system of childcare and subsidies for all other families so they can decide whether childminders, parents, or other relatives are the most suitable to care for their children," she said. "The Minister has only one response, and that is to get all parents out of the home, but families have different needs. Undermining the work of unpaid carers shows a complete lack of compassion for individuals' circumstances."