THE recent reduction in the cost of childcare fees for parents has been “very much welcomed” by a Cork family.
The cost of childcare for parents in Ireland will be cut by an average of 25% following increased subsidies that commenced last Tuesday, according to the Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman.
Funding was secured in Budget 2023 to increase the minimum subsidy for registered early learning and childcare from €0.50 per hour to €1.40 under the National Childcare Scheme (NCS).
The change means that a family that were previously in receipt of the lowest level of financial support will now be in line to save an additional €2,106 off their annual childcare bill.
Gillian Cronin from Mayfield said their household will benefit from the change.
“The increase in the NCS is a saving of €162 per month on our daughter’s childcare fees.
"This saving is very much welcomed as we have just had another daughter and come September for our two children, we will face a monthly bill of just over €1.5k per month after taking account of the NCS,” she said.
“We don’t have family in the city to help us with childcare, so we have no other option than to use a childcare provider,” said Ms Cronin. “We chose the crèche route and are delighted with our service provider.
“While this increase in the NCS is very much welcomed, further increases need to be considered by government to eliminate the childcare cost barrier for parents who want to work and have a family,” she added.
Green Party councillor Liam Quaide said there is a commitment to build on this with more reductions in the coming years. “As a parent of young children, I’m proud of the major progress my party has made in reducing childcare costs. The commitment to build on this with further reductions in the coming years will give many families additional peace of mind.”
Minister O’Gorman said childcare has been neglected in Irish life for far too long, and said he hopes to do even more next year to cut costs for families.
“No-one should be financially penalised for having children,” he said.
“The increased subsidies for parents have gone hand-in-hand with greater funding for childcare providers in recent years as well as an improvement in pay and conditions for childcare workers. These have encouraged providers to increase capacity while also encouraging staff to stay in the sector,” he added.