Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (983)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

983. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the practice by which crèches are charging the full fees for children who are attending an ECCE course in their local naíolann Gaelach and also attending the local crèche for the rest of the day, which is making it more expensive for parents whose children attend a crèche part time in order to enable them to learn the Irish language than it is for those who attend full time in circumstances in which the ECCE grant is rebated from the fees; if so, her plans to take steps to deal with same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44466/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Services who have signed a grant funding agreement to provide any of my Department's childcare funding programmes must have their fees list, for all approved funding programmes, clearly displayed in an area accessible to parents/guardians. Pobal compliance inspectors, who carry out unannounced inspections of service providers, check that the approved fees list is clearly displayed and that it indicates the full childcare fees for the service as well as the reduced childcare fees taking account of any approved funding based on the relevant programme.

It must be noted that my Department is not the owner/employer of Early Years services; they are private businesses and their policy on fees relating to levels of service not funded by my Department, including full time and part time care, are a matter between the service provider and the individual parent.

I would urge any parent/guardian who believes that their fee is not accurately reflected on their service's fees list to contact their local City/County Childcare Committee (CCC) as a matter of urgency. All CCC contact details are available at the following link: https://myccc.ie/where-is-my-nearest-ccc