Private childcare providers raise concerns over roll out of new funding scheme

Laois TD and Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan welcomes extra funding

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Email:

michelle.hogan@iconicnews.ie

Laois childcare providers get info on new childcare support

Laois TD Charlie Flanagan is pleased that extra funding for childcare is now available in Laois

A new subsidised childcare funding scheme was launched nationally this week.

Laois TD and Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan is pleased that extra funding for childcare is now available in Laois.

Speaking on the matter, Minister Flanagan stated:

“From September every child aged between 6-months and 3-years in registered childcare will get some level of support.

"The child can be in full or part-time registered childcare. There will be no minimum number of hours and no maximum number of weeks for eligibility.

"I encourage every family in County Laois to examine their entitlements to make sure they get the full benefit of what’s on offer.

"Let me assure Laois families that this will lead to a sea of change in how childcare is provided in Ireland."

Over the coming weeks, childcare centres in Laois will receive a letter inviting them to be a registered provider offering state subsidised schemes.

Private Early Education Providers (PEEP), the national organisation representing private childcare providers, is raising concern on how the Government want childcare providers to implement the Universal Childcare Subsidy.

PEEP’s key areas of concerns include vague information they have received about signing up to the scheme and the Government’s plan to roll out the administration through an existing subvention scheme – Community Childcare Subvention Private (CCSP).

As it currently operates, the CCSP scheme requires significant administration time and there are considerable delays in sanctioning payments.

For private childcare providers to be able to deliver the universal subsidy they will have to sign up to a system that they say is not fit for purpose.

A 'programme rules' document has been mentioned to childcare providers by the Government but PEEP say no further details of this have been outlined. 

Regina Bushell, Chair of (PEEP) said “We want parents to have access to the new subsidy. But, not unreasonably, we want childcare providers to be adequately supported to deliver the scheme in a sustainable way. The Government needs to act quickly and listen to our concerns and try and turn these issues around before it’s too late.”

Read more about the new funding plan here.