Minister now claims grandparents don't want childcare cash
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has sparked a new controversy over the future of childcare by saying grandparents are insulted by the suggestion they should receive State support for caring for grandchildren.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Independent, Ms Zappone insisted she will not give a "cash benefit" to relatives who handle childminding duties for busy parents in future budgets, and also categorically ruled out any direct payments to stay-at-home mothers.
However, Transport Minister Shane Ross hit back at his Cabinet colleague last night and insisted the "priceless" role played by grandparents and stay-at-home parents in childcare should be rewarded in the next budget.
"Grandparents are the unsung heroes and heroines of the childcare problem," Mr Ross told the Sunday Independent.
Ms Zappone said her landmark €120m childcare package will mean families will be less reliant on grandparents and can instead avail of State-regulated childcare.