Measures aimed at hard-pressed working families will offer little relief to many parents of pre-school children

Childcare was the dominant issue for readers in the wake of the 2016 Budget presentation, specifically the new pre-school care measures.

Hard-pressed parents were looking for details of the expanded Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme which, Minister Brendan Howlin said would operate “from now on”. He said the improvement in public finances “has given us the opportunity to assist hard working parents”.

However, it emerged Wednesday that the new arrangements will only kick in from September 2016, effectively excluding many parents already in the scheme, who have already availed of their one year free entitlement under current rules.

Readers were nonplussed by Mr Howlin’s characterisation of the childcare package as being designed to “ease the burden on working families”.

Read the full article on The Irish Times website