Parents are set to save thousands of euros per year with a substantial reduction in childcare fees, which has kicked in this month as Budget measures take effect, a local TD has said. Deputy Emer Higgins said many parents have received notifications from local creches outlining their revised fees from today, which is extremely positive news to get. Deputy Higgins said: “Fine Gael is determined to put more money back in people’s pockets with a focus on cutting childcare costs and helping childcare providers and workers. Childcare fees will drop by 25%, with an average €1,200 reduction in annual childcare costs for each child. I know of one parent who is set to save €400 per month on fees for his two children who are in creche full time.
“Government is doing this by almost trebling the subsidies provided through the National Childcare Scheme. The overall number of childcare places will be increased with an extra €59 million invested in our childcare providers. For parents in Dublin on the minimum subsidy this will mean up to €3,276 off their annual bill per child. With up to €1,170 currently available per annum, this represents up to an additional €2,106 off the annual cost of early learning and care and school aged childcare per child. Parents on the maximum subsidies, based on an income assessment and the age of the child, can already receive up to €11,934 off their annual fee,” explained Deputy Higgins.
“It will also mean that any family who is not already at the maximum hourly subsidy will see an increase in their subsidy. For those who have an award less than the maximum subsidy, the amount of the increase will taper down as they approach the maximum hourly subsidy,” continued Deputy Higgins. “Parents can be reassured the national childcare subsidy increases won’t be absorbed into fee increases, with a fee freeze on 2021 rates in place in over 90% childminding facilities which have signed up to the new core funding stream. A subsidy calculator is available at www.ncs.gov.ie, which will be updated so parents can check new subsidy rates.
“Core funding began in September and has given rise to increased capacity. The geographical breakdown across the country indicates expansion in urban and commuter areas where there has been significant pressure on places. Kildare, Wicklow, Meath as well as the four Dublin local authority areas, Galway, Cork City, Waterford, and Limerick which are all showing increases in capacity above national average figures. “We have a shortage of creche places in areas including Newcastle and investment in the early years will help us attract more childcare providers to our area and increase both availability and affordability,” concluded Deputy Higgins.