Parents set to pocket big savings on childcare next year under government plan

PARENTS are set to make big savings on childcare as the government plans to increase subsidies – but this won’t come into effect until next year, the Irish Sun can reveal.

Mums and dads across the country are forced to shell out tens of thousands of dollars each year for childcare, with some describing it as a second mortgage.

2

Parents struggling with huge childcare costs will start to feel the impact of the changes next yearCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman said the government wanted to make progress on increasing childcare subsidies

2

Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman said the government wanted to make progress on increasing childcare subsidiesCredit: Paul Sharp – Commissioned by The Sun Dublin

The National Childcare Scheme was launched in 2019 by the Fine Gael-led government to help cash-strapped parents with childcare costs.

The subsidies have been criticized for not going far enough. For example, a single mother earning €35,000 who needs 20 hours of childcare per week for her four-year-old will get about €54 per week off her childcare bill.

The program’s introduction coincided with price hikes for crèches and childcare providers to pay rising wages, energy and insurance bills.

The result means that many parents are not feeling the effect of the subsidies and are struggling with unsustainable childcare costs.

However, in the latest budget, the government pledged €716 million for childcare with new basic funding set to come into effect from September for providers to pay better salaries to staff.

Based on this, the government has secured a price freeze for childcare, which means that prices in September 2022 will be the same as in September 2021.

Most read in The Irish Sun

The government plans to use this as a basis to dramatically increase the national childcare scheme to start cutting costs for parents in 2023.

Speaking to the Irish Sun, Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman said he plans to pump money into the NCS in the next budget so parents finally start to see savings on child care.

‘REAL ECONOMY’

He said: ‘We know we need to cut costs for parents so hopefully next year’s budget can put a lot more money into the national childcare scheme. It is a subsidy that all parents receive for their childcare costs.

“For most parents it is now quite small, but we will be looking to put a lot more money into this so that parents immediately see a decrease in the level of fees they pay.

“In the past, when we invested money in NCS providers, we increased their fees and the benefit was eroded, but because we now have a mechanism in place to freeze fees, parents from next year will be able to see a real economy.

Comments are closed.