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15th April 2020 | Childcare, Coronavirus, Press Releases

Delay in wage subsidy childcare scheme not good enough – Greens

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Green Party Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Patrick Costello TD, has said it is not good enough that childcare providers are still waiting on the establishment of a Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme.

He said: “It is now three weeks since the Department of Children and Youth Affairs announced the establishment of a Wage Subsidy Scheme which would ensure childcare workers are paid over the Easter fortnight.

“Usually, a third of the early year settings would close for Easter as they are part-time. So far, employees’ salaries have been covered by State funding but they will receive nothing for the two week Easter period as they would normally be closed.

“To date, the Department have issued a letter and a set of FAQs to every childcare provider in the State and two short updates have since followed. There has been no movement on the scheme and no official date confirmed for when it will be established. What good are token letters to the thousands of staff without any income this Easter?

“Minister Zappone said that all staff should be paid through the Covid-19 pandemic, but she is currently missing at a time when staff and employers are facing huge uncertainty and pressure. The delay in establishing the Wage Subsidy Scheme is putting the entire childcare sector at risk.

“Time is ticking. It is imperative that Minister Zappone urgently clarifies an exact date for the establishment of the scheme and also provides the necessary funding so that staff can be paid over Easter. Many childcare workers have no savings and are completely reliant on a weekly wage to survive. It is therefore essential that the necessary financial supports are provided to crèches at this time. The delays are not good enough.”