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Homeless families will now receive free childcare during the summer months

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone also announced expanded free childcare for refugees today.

Image: Shutterstock/focuslight

ALL HOMELESS FAMILIES with children under the age of 12 will be able to avail of free childcare during the summer months and all future school holidays.

Making the announcement today, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said that families of refugees starting new lives in Ireland will also benefit from this free childcare for under-12s.

These supports are already in place year-round for families with children under the age of five, but these additional supports will be put in place during the summer months for families with older children.

The CCSRT (Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (Transitional)) programme began this year, and provides support to families experiencing homelessness.

It currently provides a rate of €110 per week, for each child in childcare five days a week. This new payment will provide an additional rate of €62.50 per week over the summer months and other school holidays.

In the case of refugees who’ve newly arrived in Ireland, childcare service providers receive a flat rate of €95 per week per eligible child.

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Families with children who arrive in Ireland from the Mediterranean crisis under the refugee relocation programme will now be offered 60 weeks of free childcare. This is an increase from the current level of eight weeks.

In a statement, Minister Zappone said: “I believe every child should have access to childcare, no matter what their background, income or family circumstance. It is an ambitious goal but one which we must reach if we are to have genuine, accessible, affordable, quality childcare.

The extension will not only provide activity for young children but will also ease the huge burden on families who are in very stressful situations.

The Minister added that accessibility is the key goal for child care in this country.

Read: ‘A crisis of unprecedented scale’: How will the Government end family homelessness?

Read: ‘The Taoiseach and Housing Minister really need to see this film’

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Sean Murray

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