Childcare reform ‘vital to cost of living crisis response’


TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has criticised the Government for allowing opportunities to reform the childcare sector in Ireland pass them by and said that Sinn Féin in Government would ensure all children and their families have access to good quality and affordable childcare.
Teachta Crowe said: “Childcare fees for parents in this State are among the highest in the world, yet early years workers, who are highly qualified professionals, many with degrees, are paid some of the lowest wages of any sector, with far too many working on or just above the minimum wage.
“Sinn Féin’s plan would reduce childcare fees for parents by at least one third for this year and next year and by two thirds the following year, but the Government saw fit to oppose that idea. Just like its response to the housing crisis, this approach is nothing new.
“Parents have to struggle for basic supports and services and childcare is no different. Many of them struggled even to find places for their children when they were returning to work as society reopened after the Covid-19 lockdowns.
“The Government had a two year window for reform of the sector but could not even put an emergency system in place for front-line workers. It also failed to take on the insurance industry, whose cynical exploitation of Irish people only puts businesses under further pressure and drives up costs for consumers.
“Fine Gael has been in office for 11 years. Homes and a childcare system cannot be built overnight, but a lot can be done in 11 years. Living in a bubble, the Government just does not get the cost of living crisis that faces families and individuals. Its Deputies maintain here and in the media that we cannot rush things and have to be responsible.
“Based on its poor advice for householders so far, the Government’s plan to reduce childcare costs will probably involve telling people to stop having children.
“Sinn Féin have long advocated for a publicly funded childcare sector that works for families, early years professionals and providers. In government, we will ensure all children and their families have access to good quality and affordable childcare.”

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Sarah Brooks

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