Wicklow families will benefit from more affordable childcare in September and should now take time to check out their rights, according to Fine Gael TD and Minister at the Department of Agriculture, Andrew Doyle.
“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 7000 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 now 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 affordablechildcare.ie or by talking to staff at your local childcare centre. “As Minister for Childcare Katherine Zappone has said, this is the first big step, but there is still much work to done in this area. I am assured that the Minister is focused on quality of childcare, accessibility and also recognition for the workers who provide services.
“I will continue working to ensure that parents across Wicklow can avail of high quality and affordable care for their children when they need it. Fine Gael will continue to ease the financial burden on hard press working families.”