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Childcare in Budget 2001 We welcome the approach - but the money is totally inadequate!

Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2000

The Childcare 2000 Campaign today welcomed the use of a universal payment to parents in paying for childcare in the budget today. 'For two years the six national organisations in the Childcare 2000 Campaign have consistently argued that the best way to support parents in paying for childcare is through a universal payment to all parents' stated Ms. Hilary Kenny. 'We believe that through our lobbying we have convinced the politicians and the public that parents should be supported in paying for childcare regardless of their income or employment status' she continued. 'We also welcome that the use of child benefit as the mechanism for paying for childcare directs the money to the primary carer of children in each family' added Ms. Kenny.

'We are however, extremely disappointed with the new rates announced by Minister McCreevy' declared Ms. Mary Lee Stapleton.

'Under the PPF the Government was committed to significantly increasing Child Benefit in this budget for the purposes of child welfare, so the percentage of this new rate which is actually for childcare, is minimal. We believe that the increases of £25 and £30 will not address both child welfare and childcare' she added. 'Our campaign lobbied for the implementation of a new and separate Parents Childcare Payment (PCP) which would have paid to all parents. Such a payment would have been a far better way to address the childcare issue' continued Ms. Stapleton.

She went on to say that there was absolutely nothing in the budget to stimulate or support the provision of childcare. 'The provisions announced today, are from monies already announced under the National Development Plan (NDP). Childcare providers need investment in supporting the everyday running costs of childcare facilities' stated Ms. Stapleton. 'There are many difficulties outstanding for childcare providers and the Minister missed the opportunity to introduce new support measures for childcare providers' she concluded.