Zappone tells Dáil childcare supports could reach €7,500 for some children

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Some children will receive childcare benefits of up to €7,500 a year from September, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone told the Dáil yesterday.

Minister Zappone says up to 70,000 children will have extra supports when changes she negotiated in this year’s budget come into force at the start of the pre-school year.

The Independent Minister said families who need the supports the most will benefit the most.

Speaking in the Dáil Minister Zappone added:

“Deputies we must get the message out to parents that it is time to check out the radical new changes starting in September.

“Parents must be encouraged to visit www.affordablechildcare.ie so that up to 70,000 children eligible for supports will benefit.

“In addition to the website we have posted out information packs to over 4,000 childcare providers and my officials have been on the road holding special information events – each booked to capacity.

“We are enhancing existing targeted childcare supports by as much as 50%.”

Minister Zappone also said there will be better access to subsidies for providers – with the traditional Community Childcare Scheme (CCS) being extended to both community and private providers.

“In order to encourage as many childcare services as possible to provide the schemes to families in their area, I have secured an extra €3.5m for providers for non-contact time – this is on top of the €14.5m secured in Budget 2017.

“Some families will qualify for as much as €145 per week, per child, in childcare subsidies, totalling approximately €7,500 per child, per year.

“The first big step is about to be taken to change our childcare system from being one of the most expensive in the world to one of the best – once we take that step there will be no going back.”