Written Answers. - Family Support Services.

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

790 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the current situation regarding those receiving FIS and the cost of childcare; if he has satisfied himself with this situation; and the plans he has to remedy the situation. [20479/00]

The family income supplement, FIS, scheme is designed to provide an incentive for low paid workers with families to take up or remain in full-time employment. Together with child benefit and child dependent allowances, FIS provides an avenue for the provision of child income support by my Department. None of these payments are, however, designed specifically to meet child care costs.

In the context of discussions with the social partners in relation to the range of issues associated with child care provision and costs, it has been suggested that consideration could be given, amongst other things, to disregarding certain child care costs in determining entitlement to FIS. This particular proposal will be examined in the context of the development of an equitable strategy to support parents in meeting their child care needs as provided for in the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.