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Childcare providers have until Tuesday to sign up to wage subsidy scheme

Wages of thousands of employees working in the childcare sector will be topped up to a maximum of €586 a week.

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone
Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

CHILDCARE PROVIDERS HAVE until Tuesday to sign up to a wage subsidy scheme, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone has said.

The government will top up the wages of thousands of employees working in the childcare sector up to a maximum of €586 a week.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Zappone said her department will top up eligible staff’s wages in addition to the wage subsidy being provided by Revenue.

Details of the new measures were sent to childcare providers yesterday.

Providers will get funding to cover overheads worth 15% of their gross wage bill or a minimum of €300 per week.

Funding under the scheme will be backdated to 6 April to account for a delay in implementing the measures.

Fair wage 

Zappone said it is “critical” a fair wage for childcare workers is maintained after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I have always argued that we ought to be paying at least a living wage within the childcare sector,” she said.

Regarding childcare provisions for frontline employees who are working during the crisis, Zappone said the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has been looking into the situation.

She said she hoped a decision would be reached on this relatively soon.

Plans to issue contracts to childcare providers last week were deferred until this week “in order to ensure that there is compatibility with schemes in other sectors”.

In a statement issued last Friday, the government said “retaining childcare workers in the sector is key to future sustainability” in Ireland.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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