Government must meet the cost of refunding creche fees

8 January 2021

Ivana Bacik

As the confusion over childcare costs continues, Labour spokesperson on Children, Senator Ivana Bacik, has reiterated her call to Government to ensure that parents who have paid creche fees but cannot access the service are compensated. The Government must step up and meet this cost for providers.

She said: “I am reiterating my call to the Minister to provide a clear plan to refund parents who are charged creche fees despite not accessing the service at this time. We have been inundated with calls from worried parents who are paying childcare fees on an ongoing basis to maintain their child’s place, despite not using the service during this lockdown.

“The Government simply cannot expect this issue to resolve itself. Affected parents should have their fees refunded by the service providers, and the Labour Party is again calling on the Government to meet this cost for providers. Parents are already stretched financially, as indeed are many childcare providers.

“I am deeply aware of the concerns faced by parents and childcare providers throughout the country on this issue. The Government’s delay in providing clarity is inadequate, and ultimately impacting the next generation.

“It is clear that we need a public model of childcare and early education in Ireland. Labour has repeatedly called for the development of an affordable, high-quality childcare system that reflects the reality of modern working practices - and I would urge the Minister to consider our proposals as a matter of priority.”