Transformation to childcare in Ireland with launch of Together for Better
Green Party Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman TD, has today (15th September) launched the new funding model for Early Learning Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC), ‘Together for Better’.
Minister O’Gorman stated;
“I am delighted to launch Together for Better, a new funding model for Early Learning and School Age Childcare which will prioritise reductions to childcare fees for parents; better pay and conditions for staff; more childcare places; and more stability for service providers.
“Nine out of ten childcare providers have already signed up to the €221m Core Funding scheme, which rolls out today. That’s almost 4,000 childcare providers across the country. This sees a freeze in childcare fees for 200,000 families around the country and improved pay and conditions for 25,000 childcare workers.
Together for Better brings together three key childcare initiatives including the Early Childhood Care and Education programme, the National Childcare Scheme and Core Funding.
Minister O’Gorman added;
“We are in a cost of living crisis and we need to make sure children and young families are cushioned from the effects, not just now but into the future. This is a major first step but Together for Better will bring further improvements. We will see an increase of investment in childcare of at least €1 billion in the next five years and in this year’s budget I hope to announce the first set of reductions to childcare fees in the history of the State.”
Senator Pauline O’Reilly, Green Party Spokesperson for Education said;
“Today’s roll out of Core Funding and the launch of Together for Better, spearheaded by Minister O’Gorman, will be truly transformative for parents, workers and providers. Early childhood education is a vital period in children’s learning and development yet everyone knows that the childcare sector has been chronically underfunded for decades. Parents are struggling to find childcare places and facing soaring costs. The majority of early years educators have been earning below the living wage and the sector sees an annual staff turnover of 19%.
“This changes today. More than two in three childcare workers will receive a pay increase this month and parents will be protected against further increases in childcare costs, with reductions in fees expected to be introduced in the budget. By transforming childcare and significantly increasing parental leave along with other measures, the Green Party are working hard to make Ireland the best place in Europe to raise children.”