A review of the state investment to support parents who need childcare is to get under way this year, according to Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.
The aim is to identify areas where support could be enhanced and improved to ensure the best use of the investment that is currently being made in this area. All proposals relating to childcare supports will be considered as part of this review.
She said that tax incentives for working parents were previously proposed, and the issue of tax allowances or credits was also considered prior to the introduction of the targeted childcare supports that now exist.
"A number of issues emerged at that time which did not favour the introduction of childcare tax relief. For example, this approach would not support parents working in the home and could therefore, as opposed to the targeted approach, be seen by some as discriminatory.
"Also these reliefs would favour the better paid, and those on the minimum wage or in part-time work or student parents would not be in a position to benefit to the same extent as higher income families.
"Many parents use childminders or relatives to meet their childcare needs and might not be in a position to obtain receipts."