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As a national survey reveals that close to half of parents in Waterford and across Ireland are unaware of childcare supports, Green Party Spokesperson for Social Protection Marc Ó Cathasaigh is calling on all parents to check what is available.
The National Childcare Scheme provides supports to those using registered childcare and could be worth as much as €1,170 per annum.
Additional supports have been added in recent days with the scheme extended to children under 15 with up to 40,000 expected to benefit.
Green Party Spokesperson for Social Protection Marc Ó Cathasaigh said;
“Right now, many parents are struggling with cost-of-living increases and especially with childcare costs. It was surprising to read that many are not aware that they are entitled to support under that National Childcare Scheme.
“I strongly encourage every parent to visit the website and check their eligibility www.ncs.gov.ie, call the Parent Support Centre on 01 906 8530 or talk to their childcare provider to make sure they are fully availing of the new and existing financial supports under the Scheme.”
A survey of 500 families taken in July by Ipsos MRBI, found that less than half were aware they could claim support for childcare under the National Childcare Scheme.
One third of parents with children attending pre-school did not receive any State funding, despite being eligible, and 80% of school-age children did not receive State subsidy.
Deputy Ó Cathasaigh TD added;
“It is a key priority for the Green Party to make Ireland the best country in Europe to raise children. My colleague, Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman, is working hard to reduce the out-of-pocket costs of early learning and childcare for parents going forward and I know that he is committed to securing further investment in the National Childcare Scheme in Budget 2023.
“We have to do all we can to help reduce the pressure on parents who are paying incredibly high childcare costs.”
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