Deputy Joe Carey is encouraging Clare families to check their entitlements to ensure they get the full benefit of increased childcare benefits.

“From September, every child aged between 6-months and 3-years in full or part-time registered childcare will get some level of support. There will be no minimum number of hours and no maximum number of weeks for eligibility,” he explained.

Deputy Carey, who is a member of the Oireachtas Social Protection committee, said that the Government would lift the cost barrier for those families who need it most.

“These targeted supports will be enhanced significantly with the top rate of subsidy available rising from €95 per week to €145 per week and part-time rates will increase to €80 per week.

“The extra money will be available for those parents who cannot enter work, training or education because they cannot pay for childcare. They will also be available to those who are working but on lower incomes and for whom the cost of childcare acts as a major disincentive,” he explained.

“I encourage every family in Clare to examine their entitlements to make sure they get the full benefit of what’s on offer.

“Switching our childcare system from being one of the most expensive in the world to one of the best was never going to be easy. But the countdown for more affordable childcare for Clare families has now begun.

“Childcare centres in the county have been invited to become registered providers for state subsidised schemes and this is being followed up by a major awareness campaign aimed at families which is now under way.

“Local services childcare services will receive additional information regarding the new arrangements which will see families across Ireland benefit by an extra €19 million. This will lead to a significant change in how childcare is provided in Ireland,” Deputy Carey concluded.