Local TD Ged Nash has welcomed the news that Dundalk has been chosen as one of the centres for new childcare scheme announced today by the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton on budget day.
In the first phase up to 500 childcare places will be made available to people who have been long-term unemployed or were former recipients of the One Parent Family Payment.
“This is an excellent scheme which will assist people back into the workforce,” said Ged.
“There are many parents who would like to get back to work but are effectively barred due to the prohibitive cost of childcare. Under this scheme the government will provide a subsidy of €35 per week.
“The parental contribution will be €20 per week.
“During school holidays the government will increase the subsidy to €100 per week but the parental contribution will not rise.”
“Those who meet the criteria will receive a letter from their social protection office,” eplained Ged, “which will inform them of the amount of after-school care applicable and link them up with the County Childcare Committee, who will in turn connect them with suitable childcare providers.”
“It’s a practical scheme which takes account of the real pressures faced by parents trying to re-enter the workforce. Initially there will be 500 places in seven centres but following the trial there will be 6000 places rolled out across the country,” the local TD said today.
“Getting people back to work is our number one priority.
“We have stopped the rot in that the numbers of people at work have shown a slight improvement for the first time in 5 years, but we need to build on that progress as quickly as possible.”