Labour candidate Derek Nolan has said that more must be done to make childcare more affordable for parents in Galway.
Speaking on a visit to the Glasan crèche in Ballybane with Minister Jan O’Sullivan, Deputy Nolan said, “the cost of childcare in this country is still too high, and it can act as a deterrent for parents, particularly women, returning to work.
“On average, childcare in Galway costs about €5 per hour, €180 per week or €720 per month per child, which is a significant cost for parents.
“The State as a whole has never adequately invested in supporting young families with the cost of childcare and we are one of few European countries not to do so. It is vital that we increase our spending on early years education and childcare,” he said.
Deputy Nolan said that Labour’s plan will make low-cost, high quality childcare a reality and have significant savings for parents across Galway city and county.
“We want to firstly cap the cost of childcare and then reduce the cost to no more than €2 per hour by 2021. That means a saving of €108 a week or €432 a month for parents in Galway, which is very significant. It means giving parents financial security the choice to go back to work if they choose. They can continue to contribute to the economy and allow us to have more money to invest into public services.
“It is also essential that we increase paid parental leave and allow it to be shared between the two parents. Additionally, we should transform the quality of early year’s education by ensuring a higher premium for providers with highly qualified staff.
“These measures will greatly assist working families in Galway and allow them to benefit from quality State services,” he concluded.