Monday 20 January 2020

Crèches fear closure despite aid to pay for insurance

Marian Quinn, Chairperson of the Association of Childhood Professionals
Marian Quinn, Chairperson of the Association of Childhood Professionals
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Dozens of crèches who currently have an injury claim pending against them are still struggling to get a premium quote from the only insurer left in the market.

While one-off payments of between averaging €1,500 are to be made by the Government to childcare providers within the next week, some are still scrambling to cover the cost of insurance.

Marian Quinn, chairperson of the Association of Childhood Professionals Ireland, said while "every little helps", there are a number of providers who still fear closure.

"We welcome that the Government has acknowledged the problem, but for some the problem remains.

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"Minister [for Children Katherine] Zappone was talking about how a couple of hundred providers can't get a quote, but from an insurance perspective that's because many of those have a claim against them.

"It doesn't mean they are high risk or not offering a good service."

Ms Quinn said one provider she spoke to - currently insured with Arachas - has seen her premium increase from €2,500 to €9,800.

"The reason it is so high is she has a claim pending and she doesn't know how she's going to get the money together," Ms Quinn said.

"People who weren't insured with Arachas previously and have a claim pending are finding it hard to get any quote with them,"

A statement from the Department of Children said Padraic Smith Insurance Broker had informed it they were providing insurance services to 1,300 childcare providers.

"Yesterday Allianz, the remaining underwriter providing insurance for childcare providers, informed the department that it had provided insurance quotes to 1,100 new customers."

It said they have informed the department the number of quotations had increased to 1,382.

"The department understands that a small number of applications have yet to be finalised. It urges providers to inform the parents using their services of their insurance cover for 2020."

Irish Independent

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