Providers Say Government’s New Child Care Scheme An Unworkable Shambles – ,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, to immediately engage her department with those child care providers who have identified significant blocks in implementing the new Affordable Child Care Scheme. Deputy McGrath was speaking after being contacted by deeply concerned parents who had just found out that their Tusla registered child care service would not be signing up the Scheme and that neither would the four other main providers in their area:

“The minister and her department seem to be doing an excellent job of spinning the roll-out of this Scheme as an enormous success.

Unfortunately the feedback I and many parents are getting from child care providers is that the enormous administrative burden associated with implementing the Scheme is making it unworkable due to the time consuming pressure it will place on staff.

Many of the providers have also identified several other issues that are making it impossible to offer parents the support they need.

These are primarily related to lack of information on the scheme and how it works for providers and fear that the government will end up controlling their business in terms of what they do and what they charge.

I have also been informed that while the administration of implementing the scheme is a major obstacle, no assistance is being provided to overcome this.

The fact that the free ECCE year is also being identified by providers as time consuming and harder to implement than initially expected does not inspire great hope about this new arrangement. This is to say nothing about the difficulties surrounding how parents are to be invoiced under the new Scheme.

All of these matters must be addressed by the Minister and her department if the roll-out is not to collapse into utter chaos,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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