Our Pre-Budget Submission includes practical recommendations on how the Government should use the upcoming Budget to deliver quality, affordable childcare.
There has been a great deal of talk in the media in recent months about a ‘childcare crisis’. Media commentary has often focused on the crisis of affordability. Irish parents pay some of the highest childcare costs in the world. But there is also a crisis of variable quality. And at the root of both is a third childcare crisis – a crisis of low investment.
With continuing improvement in the economic situation, Budget 2016 is the right time for the Government to address the three childcare crises. And early years investment is not only a solution to a crisis: it can also lay the foundations for long-term economic and social progress. High quality early care and education is good for children, good for society and good for the economy.
This Pre-Budget Submission presents a practical proposal for how the Government can achieve the “double dividend” of making early years services more affordable to parents and at the same time higher quality, to ensure that children benefit. We also call on the Government to extend family leave supports, so that parents can have more time at home with the very youngest children.