Good news for parents as creche bills to be cut by 25pc from next week – – Our News, Your Views

Good news for parents as creche bills to be cut by 25pc from next week

Childcare bills will be cut by a quarter for families from January 2, according to Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman.

The long-awaited rate cut will be welcomed by struggling households facing spiraling heating bills this winter.

It is the result of ministers agreeing to cut taxes by 25% as part of the 2023 budget due to significant increases in taxpayer funding for childcare.

Parents will benefit from an average 25% reduction in their rates starting January 2 with the increase in the Universal Contribution from 50 cents per hour to 90 cents at 1.40 euros per hour for a maximum of 45 hours per week.

“It’s not promises,” Minister O’Gorman told the Irish Independent. “It’s a real handover, the largest child care rate cut in state history. I secured the largest one-year increase in child care investment in state history.

Families with children older than six months but less than 15 years of age and enrolled in Tusla, as well as in contact with the Childhood Department, are entitled to the reduction.

“We’ve also been able to increase the sustainability of providers, the childcare providers themselves through core funding (of) €259m this year,” Mr O’Gorman said, reports Independent.

He added that the small exclusive services of the Early Childhood Care and Education Program (ECCE) will now receive funding of €27 million, almost double the previous €14 million.

Nearly 90 percent of the nation’s child care providers have basic funding. However, last month, 500 ECCE childcare providers closed for a day to protest the new funding model which they say is unfair and has resulted in smaller providers missing out on higher dues and support payments.

Separately, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has promised to reduce pediatric waiting lists over the next two years, with the creation of a new unit in his department to focus on reducing child poverty and improving well-being.

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