Dublin Mid-West Workers’ Party candidate Lorraine Hennessy has launched the party’s childcare proposals which envisage the transfer of childcare provision from the private sector to local government.
Clondalkin based Ms. Hennessy said that childcare must be fully funded by the state, free and universally available to all parents including those who work unsocial hours and for children who have special needs.
She said that the establishment parties are offering a market-driven childcare system which will continue to be beyond the reach of most working-class parents. Behind the fanfare of today’s announcements from Labour and others there is no comprehensive change which will see childcare available to all who need it.
“Childcare in this state is a publicly subsidised market model which is inaccessible to many, particularly young mothers in less well-off communities who are denied an opportunity to prepare themselves for the workplace through return to education. The present market childcare model is haphazard, unplanned and patchy. It doesn’t work and is a pipe-dream for most working-class parents”, said Ms. Hennessy.
The Workers’ Party propose:-
- The provision of enhanced parental care options for children under one in line with international best practice including state/employer supported parental leave
- The development of a model of education and care for preschool children covering the ages 3 months to 2/3 years and also 2/3 years to 4/5 years
- The development of a model of care for pre-school children with disabilities
- The development of appropriate ‘before and after school’ as well as ‘school holiday’ childcare provision.
Lorraine Hennessy said the test of any childcare provision would be its universal availability. “If it is not available for all then it is meaningless and shallow. The Workers’ Party proposals would put it on a firm footing and guarantee that universality”