Local T.D Róisín Shortall has welcomed the launch of a new afterschool childcare scheme in the Finglas area. The scheme offers subsidised childcare places to assist low-income families where parents are returning to work.
The scheme will be rolled out nationally on a phased basis. The first phase will begin at the end of April and will be made available in seven locations, including Finglas. Approximately 70 afterschool childcare place will be made available in each area. The scheme will involve a €20 contribution per child per week with a Government subsidy of €35 per week. During school holidays, the Government subsidy will increase to €100 per week but the parental contribution will remain at €20 per week. The pilot scheme will be rolled out in three phases, the second phase will be rolled out in July this year, with a national rollout expected in September.
Deputy Shortall welcomed this announcement commenting, “This is a positive initiative which will help many families get back into employment. It will offer secure, affordable and reliable childcare places which is crucial to those trying to return to the work force. For far too long rising childcare costs have acted as a disincentive for parents to return to work. The lack of options up until now has contributed in no small part to families struggling to get out of the poverty trap.
The scheme will assist parents who are long-term unemployed receiving a Jobseekers payment or a One Parent Family payment who want to avail of either full or part-time employment. Under the scheme parents will have the opportunity to increase their days of employment, where it might have otherwise been impossible. Crucially, it will also allow parents to access employment programmes, such as the Community Employment scheme.
I welcome this investment and I hope that this is the first step in providing real and affordable choices for parents in our area.”