A report calling for greater state subsidisation of childcare to relieve parents of the burden of an “extra mortgage” and to ensure the sector is sustainable for childcare providers has been broadly welcomed.
The recommendation is one of 13 contained in a report on Affordable and Quality Childcare by the joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, published yesterday.
A need to address pay and conditions of those working in the sector was also identified, as well as the regulation of all paid non-relative childminders, regardless of the number of children they have in their care.
The report says there should be “no separation, as far as possible, between treatment of private and community services in delivery of childcare services”.
In addition, the report says consideration should be given to running the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme for a 48-week period (as distinct from 38 weeks). The ECCE scheme provides a free year of early education for children of pre-school age, extended to two years in the last Budget.
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