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500 subsidised childcare places come online

A total of 6,000 places will be available when the scheme is implemented in full.
Apr 24th 2013, 8:30 PM 12,259 59

UP TO 500 subsidised childcare places are to be made available to people who are classed as long-term unemployed as well as former recipients of the One Parent Family Payment.

The first phase of government’s new afterschool childcare scheme will see the 500 places come online before the end of April.

Launching the scheme was the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald. Burton said that the the additional places would help parents on low incomes to return to work.

The scheme will involve a government subsidy of €35 per week and a parental contribution of €20 per week per child. During school holidays, the subsidy will increase to €100 per week while the parental contribution will remain unchanged.

Locations

The first phase of the scheme is to be made available via the local Department of Social Protection offices in:

  • Finglas, Dublin 11
  • Dundalk, Co Louth
  • Tralee, Co Kerry
  • King’s Inn Street in Dublin City Centre
  • Cork City
  • Mullingar, Co Westmeath
  • Dominic Street in Limerick city

Customers who meet the criteria will get a letter of eligibility from their local office, with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs tasked with providing the afterschool childcare places.

The second phase of the pilot will be rolled out in July this year, with a national roll-out planned for September.

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A total of 6,000 places will be available when the scheme is implemented in full, with funding of €14 million from the Department of Social Welfare.

The CEO of Early Childhood Ireland, Irene Gunning, said that she gave the scheme “a cautious welcome” and said that they would be monitoring “this initial ‘tester’ phase very carefully”.

Read: Childcare costs leave parents struggling to pay household bills >

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Paul Hyland

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