Subsidy will make a huge difference: shopowner
A young mother in Wexford is delighted with the promised State subsidy for childcare.
Gillian O'Neill, a shop owner in Gorey, sends her 18-month-old son Sebastian to crèche part-time.
She told the Irish Independent that the subsidy would make a "massive difference".
"Before this, our safety net was gone," she said.
"We couldn't afford to have one parent staying at home to look after our boy, but we also couldn't afford full-time childcare."
Gillian owns and runs Mummy Hub in Gorey's town centre, which offers specialised slings, carriers and nursing bras for young mothers. She set up the company six months ago.
She takes Sebastian to work on certain days when he is not in crèche.
"He goes to the crèche for the rest of the week," she said. "It's approximately €100 per week. When you count that up, it can be a massive blow to the income."
But she hopes the new plan means more support for childcare providers themselves.
"I know that childcare providers get little pay for what they do," she said.
"There have been big increases in prices for lighting, heating, garda vetting and everything else they are expected to pay for."
Gillian also said she was "jumping up and down" when she heard of an increase to the self-employed tax credit.
"I'm a sole trader so any reduction that we can get is very welcome," she said.
"It would give businesses more money to invest, and it would also help me to hire more people."