Garda vetting of babysitters for subsidy 'is a total insult', says granny
Grandparents and other casual childminders will balk at being vetted by gardaí in exchange for a State subsidy, a veteran childminder has warned.
Breda Sargent (67), from Crumlin, has 18 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
She has been an unofficial, unregistered childminder for the children of her five adult children for years.
She has no problem being an unpaid childminder for her grandchildren to give their parents some respite. And she is not alone.
A national poll conducted in 2015 found that grandparents are now the go-to source of childcare for 42pc of working parents due to the exorbitant cost of crèches and other childminding services.
Soon she and other family members, friends and neighbours who provide childcare on a casual basis will be eligible for a universal State subsidy that will be paid directly to them.
But it's likely they will face Garda vetting and other background checks to qualify.
But Ms Sargent said the payment was not worth the hassle and indignity of having to undergo a Garda vetting in order to babysit her own family.
"For family members, I think it's a total insult," she told the Irish Independent. "I wouldn't mind the money and I might get a holiday out of it," she said. "But to think they'll make grandparents be vetted for their own grandchildren?"
Under the Single Affordable Childcare Scheme announced in Budget 2017, childminders will be paid a direct maximum subsidy of just under €1,000 a year per child to care for children between the ages of six months and 36 months.
In exchange, they must be registered with Tusla.
But due to the sheer number of casual childminders - which the Department of Children and Youth Affairs estimates to be around 20,000 - the Government is looking at implementing a fast-track or streamlined registration process.