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Thousands of parents check out More Affordable Childcare

“Over 170,000 visit special website – two thirds from Dublin area”

Cabinet to be updated

Statement by Minister Katherine Zappone


Tuesday 11th July 2017

Thousands of parents are preparing for the start of More Affordable Childcare in September with over 173,000 page visits to an information website in the past month, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.

The Minister is directing that every effort is made to ensure that all parents are aware of new benefits and supports – with figures showing that two-thirds of queries are from Dublin. Up to 70,000 children are expected to benefit when changes in childcare go live at the start of September.

The Minister is to brief cabinet colleagues on the successful information campaign today (Tuesday 11th July).

Confirming the figures Minister Zappone said:

“The first big step to change our childcare system from being one of the most expensive in the world to the best is about to be taken.

Getting the information into every home is a huge challenge. I am greatly encouraged by our efforts to date and have instructed that our information and awareness campaign now moves up a gear. With over 173,000 visits to the website we are well underway.

However it is concerning that two thirds of visits are from the Dublin area. I will be asking Government colleagues to help us re-double our efforts. In addition to stepping up our media campaign I will be asking that every Government office in the country would place information leaflets in public spaces.

The changes will see a universal benefit for every child under 3-years old. A second benefit will be targeted at those families which need it most. I am particularly happy that we are delivering the highest level of supports to those families who need it most – with supports of up to €7,500 available per child.

It is these targeted supports that will open up jobs, training and education for parents who want to lift their families out of poverty.

Overall total spending on child care programmes this year is €466m – this represents a 79% increase on figures in 2015. Now we must ensure that families receive the benefit of this.

The increases we have achieved are significant, however we still lag behind other countries.

We will need more investment if our families are to finally have accessible affordable quality childcare.”



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