With targeted childcare supports being increased by as much as 50 per cent, Clare parents are being encouraged to find out how they can benefit by logging on to a new information website.
Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey said that while there have been over 173,000 page visits to the affordablechildcare.ie website in the past month, nearly two-thirds of these are from Dublin and there is a danger that some Clare families may not be aware of their full entitlements.
“Extra supports for up to 70,000 children will come into effect at the start of the pre-school year, with some children will receive childcare benefits up to €7,500. This could have a significant benefit for many families in Clare.
“There will be improved access to subsidies for providers – with the traditional Community Childcare Scheme (CCS) being extended to both community and private providers,” he explained.
“Overall total spending on child care programmes this year is €466 million, representing a 79% increase on figures in 2015. Now we must ensure that families receive the benefit of this.
“Families will benefit in two ways. Firstly, the changes will see a universal benefit for every child under three years old. Universal subsidies, of up to €1,040 a year, which will be available for all children aged between 6 and 36 months in full time childcare.
“The second targeted support is based on income and also for those parents who have had to turn down jobs, training and education because they cannot afford childcare.
“To find out your entitlements, log on to www.affordablechildcare.ie,” Deputy Carey advised.