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Padraig Conlon
More on Padraig coming soon.

Parents in Dublin are leading the nation in seeking information on major childcare changes starting in September, according to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.

Dublin families account for two-thirds of the 173,000 hits recorded on the special website www.affordablechildcare.ie.

The site contains information on increases in benefits and supports which will benefit up to 70,000 children.

The Children’s Minister says it is vital that every parent is aware of the changes which are coming and says an awareness campaign will be stepped up further in the coming weeks.

Announcing the figures Minister Zappone added:

“The first big step to change our childcare system from being one of the most expensive in the world to the best is about to be taken.

“Getting the information into every home is a huge challenge. I am greatly encouraged by our efforts to date and have instructed that our information and awareness campaign now moves up a gear.

“With over 173,000 visits to the website www.affordablechildcare.ie we are well underway.

“Dublin does lead the nation. However even here there are many families which have not acted while those who have already clicked to find out more should return to the site for updates between now and September.”

Minister Zappone said these new supports will open up opportunities for parents to increase the quality of life for their families.

“The changes will see a universal benefit for every child under 3-years old. A second benefit will be targeted at those families which need it most.

“I am particularly happy that we are delivering the highest level of supports to those families who need it most – with supports of up to €7,500 available per child. This is by any standard significant for any household budget.

“It is these targeted supports that will open up jobs, training and education for parents who want to lift their families out of poverty.

“Now we must ensure that no family is left behind and that is the focus over the next few weeks.”

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