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Zappone wants extra funding for creches

Children’s Minister and Dublin South West TD Katherine Zappone says she will push for extra funding for crèches that deliver the affordable childcare scheme as part of her negotiations for Budget 2018.

With the scheme due to begin in September Minister Zappone said she wanted additional funding due to issues surrounding pay raised by childcare providers.

Ms Zappone said the Government was providing a subsidy to allow crèches who implement the scheme to pay their staff and while the subsidies covered the time staff spend with children, there was also administrative work that providers were required to do which must be taken into account.

Ms Zappone wants to increase the amounts of money to be provided to crèches and early year education centres “so that they can pay people a little bit more for the non-contact time they have with children”.

She said: “We got an extra €14m for all of the providers throughout the country in the last Budget and I’d like to get that increased.”

The minister was speaking as she launched a public information campaign this week for the Government’s affordable childcare plan.

“I am confident the enhanced childcare supports on offer will have a meaningful impact for recipient families” she added.

Ms Zappone also said she wanted to increase other supports to crèches to help with learning and education.

A new website Affordablechildcare.ie has been set up to inform families of the supports available to them.

Planned childcare supports are expected to benefit up to 70,000 children, including through a universal subsidy of up to €80 per month for all children aged between six months and three years.