Emergency funding needed for creches
24 March 2020
Parliamentary Party Chair and Spokesperson on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands; Agriculture and the Marine
Labour spokesperson on Children, Deputy Sean Sherlock, has called on the Government to provide emergency funding for the childcare sector in the face of the prolonged closure of crèches around the country.
Deputy Sherlock said:
“As it’s now been confirmed that schools will remain closed after March 29th we can also presume the same will be the case for the country’s crèches.
“This is a sensible measure and the right thing to do in these uncertain and difficult times.
“However many crèches will be under enormous financial pressure to ensure they can reopen once this crisis has passed.
“Many parents, especially those whose own incomes have been impacted by this crisis, will not be in a position to continue paying high crèche fees while their children remain at home.
“In order for childcare workers to continue to be paid, and for other costs such as rent and other outgoings to be met by crèches in the midst of a loss of income from fees, the Government needs to provide emergency funding for the sector.
“Funding was provided by the Department of Children’s Programme Support Payment at Christmas time when insurance costs soared, and a similar fund should be put in place now.
“It is vital that our childcare facilities stay in business and workers are paid during this crisis, so once normality resumes their doors can open again.”