Report finds poorer families relying on grandparents for childcare

first_imgFamilies are more likely to rely on grandparents to provide childcare, a new report has found.Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone has defended the fact that the supports are only targeted at those using creches or childminders which are registered with Tusla.Now the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has found following a report that less well-off families are unlikely to use creches.A spokesman for Minister Zappone has claimed that the findings of the report from the ESRI “prove the minister’s point”.“For many people on low incomes, childcare is not an option,” he said. “The findings do support the policy.”Ms Zappone has said that the scheme is the first step in reforming the childcare situation in Ireland, she said the funding would allow people to move away from relying on relatives for childcare.‘Cherishing All of the Children Equally?’ – the report by the ESRI noted: “State investment in early care and education for children aged three and under…has been very, very low. The private sector dominates the market and costs to most parents are very expensive.”Similar to earlier research, the report showed again that relatives (usually grandparents) were the most common form of childcare in Ireland, while childminders were the second most common, followed by centre-based care, such as creches.Children from advantaged backgrounds were more likely to be cared for by childminders or creches.“Class differences in access to care and education are marked in the early years in Ireland, partly linked to the relatively high cost of childcare for parents,” the report has added.The supports introduced by Ms Zappone include a universal payment of up to €80 per month toward childcare.A means tested subsidy scheme is also due to come into effect, which will see low-income earners benefit from subsidised payments of up to €5.38 per hour. The measures have been met with mixed reactions following the announcement of Budget 2017.The National Women’s Council of Ireland this week welcomed the funding allocation, which they said would help get women back to work.Meanwhile, CEO of the National Childminding Association, Teresa Heeney, has warned that the new measures could force this type of provider out of the market.Childminders can register with Tusla, which will make their clients eligible to apply for the supports. However, at the moment less than 1% are registered. Report finds poorer families relying on grandparents for childcare was last modified: October 13th, 2016 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img