€243,498 extra funding for 27 childcare services in Wicklow – Doyle  

childcare

Childcare services in Wicklow are to receive €243,498 in extra funding, Fine Gael TD and Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle has said.

The financial boost comes at a key moment in Ireland’s move to accessible affordable quality childcare.

Minister Doyle said: “I am delighted to announce that 27 local childcare services will receive €243,498 in extra funding.

“The money will be used to provide new childcare places, maintenance and building work as well as outdoor play areas and is available for immediate draw-down by providers here in Wicklow. This includes Dunlavin Community Playgroup Limited, Lady Birds Pre School, Brittas Bay, The Marian Centre , Kids Aloud Limited Limited, Donard/Glen Community Playgroup Limited, Stratford / Grangecon Development Association Limited, Bray Family Resource and Development Project Limited, Parish of Newcastle & Newtownmountkennedy, Tippy’s Preschool Playgroups Limited and many more. 

“I hold the provision of quality, affordable and accessible childcare as a very highest priority; ensuring local children get the very best start in life.

“This funding will benefit children, families and providers under our Early Years programmes, and will contribute to the development of an infrastructure that is ready to meet the radical new approach to subsidising childcare outlined in Budget 2017.

“Since first entering Government, Fine Gael has prioritised hard pressed working families; the people who bore the brunt of the economic recession. A major part of this has been to reduce the cost of childcare for working parents.

“We introduced the free pre-school year, and subsequently extended it to a second year. It is estimated the extended scheme provides an average saving of €4,000 per child.

“We also recently introduced paternity leave for the first time ever. Dads are now entitled to two weeks’ paid leave.

“From September an estimated 70,000 children nationwide will get extra supports. This will really benefit families in Wicklow.

“Families will benefit in two ways. First there is a universal support for all children aged 3 and under then there are supports for those families who need it most.

“The second targeted support is based on income and also for those parents who have had to turn down jobs, training and education because they cannot afford childcare.

“I encourage parents in Wicklow to take the time to study the increased supports which are available and prepare for the autumn, by checking out the new website www.affordablechildcare.ie or by talking to staff at your local childcare centre.

Increase in minimum wage will benefit lower paid workers – Doyle 

minimum wageThe Low Pay Commission is recommending an increase to the minimum wage of 30 cents, bringing it to €9.55 per hour.

Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle believes this and other supports will greatly benefit lower paid workers here in Wicklow.

“Increasing the minimum wage is just one tool in a wider Government programme to help the lower paid and incentivise people into work.

“Affordable Childcare is on the way this September, which will see up to €1,040 per year for children in full time childcare.

“The latest data from the Central Statistics Office shows that show that that Ireland is becoming more equal and that poverty is decreasing.

“Fine Gael in Government recognises that higher levels of public investment in social and economic infrastructure in Wicklow, will improve skills, childcare, and empower our communities.

“These are the building blocks for more inclusive, fairer and sustainable patterns of economic growth in our society.

“The latest CSO Household Budget Survey shows that our economic recovery is being used to reduce inequality across the country

“The ‘Household Budget Survey’ found that the gap between the highest and lowest income households narrowed between 2009-2010 and 2015-2016.

 

“Economic and social progress go hand in hand. Only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for the services needed to create a fair society.” Minister Doyle said.

 

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said: “The Government welcomes the recommendation from the Low Pay Commission to increase the national minimum wage by 30c to €9.55 per hour. It would work out as a €12 increase in a full 40 hour week.

 

“This would be a modest increase but it’s ahead of the rate of inflation and average increases in earnings. It would be the fourth increase in the minimum wage since 2011, and the second under this Government, and a further step towards the Programme for Government commitment for a minimum wage of €10.50.