‘Affordable childcare’: 10 things you should know

Families can look forward to some extra support this autumn, but parents should research their entitlements

For the first time, parents in the “squeezed middle” can look forward to getting a little help from the State to pay for centre-based childcare this autumn. And some low-income families who are already receiving a subsidy will see it increased by up to 50 per cent.

Overall for parents, however, there is bad news as well as good news about the €19 million in extra childcare supports coming down the track. Here are 10 things you need to know:

1. The More Affordable Childcare scheme starts on September 1st

Note that the name has been changed from the Single Affordable Childcare Scheme that was announced for Budget 2017 last November by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone. That is because not all of it can be implemented yet. So within the childcare sector this phase is simply being referred to as “the September measures”.

By last February, Zappone’s department was acknowledging that there wasn’t a hope of getting the new IT system necessary for the whole scheme up and running by September. There are also data protection issues to be legislated for around the sharing of information if parents are going to be, as promised, able to enter their PPS numbers into a “parents’ portal” to find out what their entitlements to subsidies are.

Read the full article on The Irish Times website