Friday 24 May 2019

'There's only so much that they can give away' - Mum-of-one approves of childcare funding in 'fair enough' Budget 2018

Sinead and Conor
Sinead and Conor
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A mum-of-one who teaches in primary school on a part-time basis believes that Budget 2018 was "a fair enough budget" for parents.

Sinead Kavanagh lives with her husband, who works full-time and her 15-month-old baby boy Conor.

"They don't have an awful lot of money, there's only so much that they can give away," she told

There is no increase to childcare subsidies introduced last year which came into effect in September.

However, Minister Katherine Zappone has secured funding to close loopholes which will see around 20,000 three and four-year-olds will benefit from additional free childcare.

Funding has been secured for the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE), increasing the average entitlement from 61 weeks to 76.

"That's four months less time for people to pay childminding or creche fees. With the pre-school, you can only send [your children] for a certain time anyway," said Sinead.

"I think Katherine Zappone is decent, she has a little bit more of a heart...I don't think they could do better than that with what they had." 

Sinead said she was happy that Budget 2018 has given parents a break in terms of childcare costs - and an additional €5 for all social welfare payments.

She employs the services of a childminder around six days a month and said she is lucky to have her Mam to step in around eight days a month "which takes some of the financial burden off".

As an educational professional, the decision to use a childminder as oppose to créche facilities is largely due to flexibility when it comes to long summer holidays and sick days.

"We would be looking for any sort of clawback for teachers as our household is down about e800 a month after cutbacks," said Sinead.

"If there was a reinstatement of posts of responsibility, that could potentially bring us in an extra €10k a year".

Sinead was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 - and started The Beautiful Truth blog 'as a distraction' while she was off work sick.

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