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Families in crisis receive extra free childcare

Zappone takes further steps to improve access to childcare for families who are homeless and programme refugees

Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone

 

10th July 2017

Free childcare schemes for families who are homeless and refugees starting new lives in Ireland are to be expanded, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.

Free childcare for families which are homeless is to be extended to include all children aged 12 and under for the summer months and all future school holidays. Children under 5-years-old currently benefit on a year round basis.

In addition children from families who arrive in Ireland from the Mediterranean crisis under the refugee relocation programme will be offered 60 weeks of free childcare – an increase from the current 8-weeks.

Making the announcement Minister Zappone added:

“I believe every child should have access to childcare, no matter what their background, income or family circumstance. It is an ambitious goal but one which we must reach if we are to have genuine accessible affordable quality childcare.

Since the start of the year we have used funding of €8m to offer free services with a daily meal to children aged 5 years and under from families who are homeless. I am now delighted to confirm that this scheme is being extended to include part-time childcare for 6 to 12-year olds over the summer months and during other school breaks.

The extension will not only provide activity for young children but will also ease the huge burden on families who are in very stressful situations.

In addition free childcare for children arriving in Ireland from the European refugee crisis is to be extended from 8 weeks to 60 weeks.

Families arriving into Ireland from the ‘hotspots’ along the Mediterranean will benefit.

The extension will assist integration and create space for parents, guardians and older family members to seek jobs, training and education. It will assist them to resettle and restart their lives in Irish communities which will become home.

Childcare in Ireland is changing forever. We are transforming one of the most expensive systems in the world into one of the best. Accessibility is a key challenge we must address to reach this goal. These announcements underline our commitment to achieve that goal.”

ENDS


NOTE TO EDITORS

Childcare Programmes

·        The CCSR(T) (Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (Transitional)) programme provides childcare support to families experiencing homelessness.  The provision of funding commenced 2nd January 2017.

·        It currently provides for a flat rate of €110 per week, for part-time childcare (3hrs 31mins - 5 hrs) over 5 days per week will be paid in relation to each child attending under CCSR(T), for the duration of their childcare place with a daily meal being provided for each child.  

·        A new additional rate of  €62.50 per week will be provided for sessional childcare (i.e. 2hrs 16 mins – 3 hrs 30 mins), over 5 days per week, to be paid in relation to each child attending for the duration of their childcare place.  

·        The CCSR (Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement) programme provides childcare support to Programme Refugees to support their resettlement and integration into Irish society.  The provision of funding commenced 30th May 2016;

·        This arises from a Government commitment  from 10/09/2015, whereby the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs supported a decision to increase Ireland’s resettlement quota to cater for up to 4,000 Programme Refugees (PRs) under Resettlement (from outside EU, e.g. Lebanon) and Relocation (from within EU, e.g. Italy).  

·        Service providers receive a flat rate of €95 per week, for part-time (3hrs 31mins - 5 hrs)  childcare over 4 days per week in relation to each child attending under CCS ‘Relocation/Resettlement’ for the eligible duration of their childcare place.

·        Individuals who have entered Ireland as ‘Resettlement’ refugees, as verified by the Department of Justice and Equality are eligible for up to a maximum of 60 weeks’ childcare under CCSR. This includes a number of weeks in childcare in proximity to a reception centre (approximately 8 weeks), and the remaining eligible weeks in a childcare service within the family’s resettled community.

·        Individuals who have entered Ireland as ‘Relocation’ refugees, as verified by the Department of Justice and Equality, were eligible for up to a maximum of 8 weeks’ childcare under CCSR. They are now eligible for the full 60 weeks.

Universal Subsidy
·        Available to families with a child aged between 6 mths and up to age of eligibility for ECCE and  Enrolled in Tusla-registered childcare

·        Its not means tested and available to all families not otherwise availing of subvented childcare for that child

·        Provides for up to €20 per week (€1,040 per year) towards the cost of childcare

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