Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (619)

Kathleen Funchion


619. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the supports available for parents to pay childcare fees during a period of self-isolation (details supplied). [38122/20]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Where there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 in an Early Learning and Care (ELC) or School Age Childcare (SAC) setting and an individual is thought to have been in the setting during the infectious period, public health will conduct a risk assessment and advise the service as to what action, if any, is required. Such actions may include exclusion of staff or children from a play-pod, a room or the whole service, depending on the individual circumstances of the case.

Services are not required to take any action in relation to closing their service (partially or in full) unless and until public health officials have contacted them.

ELC and SAC services are provided by private enterprises, either privately owned or operated by community organisations. Service providers are contracted by my Department to provide early learning and care at subsidised rates to parents and guardians. When a service is directed to close by public health due to Covid , the subvention continues to be paid for the period of closure.

With regard to parental fees, each childcare provider is responsible for their own fees policy, and this will be set out in the contract between the parent or guardian and the childcare provider for the provision of childcare services.

Parents or guardians who find themselves with reduced income due to their child being unable to attend childcare services for a period of time should contact the Department of Social Protection to determine if supports are available to them.