Saturday 3 December 2016

Exclusive: Childcare strategy to save average family €1k per year

Niall O’Connor Political Correspondent

Published 13/10/2015 | 12:41

Little child girl playing in kindergarten. Photo: File
Little child girl playing in kindergarten. Photo: File

CHILDREN'S Minister James Reilly will today unveil a childcare strategy that will save the average family €1,000 per year, independent.ie can reveal.

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Central to the €83m package is the roll-out of two years free pre-school for children aged between 3-5 from September 2016.

There will be three windows for parents to enrol their children in the scheme – September, January and April.

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Government sources say the Fine Gael minister’s package will also see the rollout of 8,000 childcare places through private and community providers.

Over €30m will used to make pre-school facilities more accessible for children who special needs. Part of this money will be used to train staff.

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A  multi-million euro fund will also be provided to providers who want to offer after-school care services through existing school facilities.

“Reilly will say that the overall package will save families €1,000 per year in childcare costs,” a source told independent.ie.

On top of the measures, two weeks of paid paternal leave will kick in for fathers from September.

A €5 addition to the child benefit will also be announced as part of a “Children friendly budget”

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