The extension of the universal subsidy for parents to assist with the cost of childcare in Budget 2022 goes nowhere near far enough to support parents getting back to work, according to Seamus McDonagh Workers Party Meath.

McDonagh said:
“While we welcome longer subsidised hours and the expansion of access to childcare for working families, the fact is they do very little to make childcare more affordable.”

“The reality is that extending the amount of subsidised hours will in no way help parents who are already unable to afford childcare. What is needed is an increase in universal subsidies. The reality is that there simply are not enough childcare providers and waiting lists are far too long.”

“The proposal to increase wages for staff in the childcare sector is welcome but it is not going to solve the problem. The investment in increasing wages will have to be incredibly substantial in order to reduce childcare costs for parents as well as ensuring that providers are able to deliver the service.

“In reality, we require a state run childcare system which removes the profit element from the sector, provides free childcare to all parents and ensures that staff are on a liveable wage. Like everything else in this budget, it is just not enough.”