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Childcare Allowances – parents needs not fully addressed NWCI seeking meeting with Tanaiste

Published: Sunday, April 01, 2001

'The National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) welcomes the childcare labour support package announced by the Tánaiste' declared Ms. Gráinne Healy, NWCI Chairwoman. 'The £50 per child per week allowance for receipted childcare will start to address the difficulties experienced by some women in accessing training. However, the majority of childcare remains in the informal economy, thus preventing many women from availing of this allowance' she continued.

'The NWCI is seeking a meeting with the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to reconsider the requirement of childcare receipts in order to access this allowance' she stated.

'We welcome the additional monies being put into the return to work programme' added Ms. Healy. 'Women returners need training to allow them to take up well-paid sustainable employment' she stated.

Ms. Healy went on to say that the NWCI welcomes the measures to assist the integration of people with disabilities into the workforce as a first step. 'A detailed and comprehensive strategy needs to be put in place if people with disabilities are to have real employment opportunities' she continued.

'The NWCI has serious concerns about targeting lone parents for training in childcare. Lone parents must be supported to make the same training and employment choices as any other parents' said Ms. Healy. 'The right of lone parents to choose to look after their own children must also be respected and preserved' she added.

She expressed the importance of FÁS initiating the process of providing on-site childcare in their centres to provide women with a variety of choices around childcare.