Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Ceisteanna (198)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

198. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the full year cost of increasing the affordable childcare subsidy for children under three years of age by €1 per hour; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21633/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I am replying to the Deputy on the understanding that he is referring to the Community Childcare Subvention (Universal) Scheme (CCSU).

In September 2017, as part of Government policy to make childcare more affordable, I introduced a universal childcare subvention payment of up to €20 per week for families using eligible childcare providers for the care of children aged from 6 months to the first eligible point of entry to the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme.

The maximum weekly universal childcare subsidy is €20. CCSU subsidies are currently paid according to session type, i.e. full-time, part-time, sessional, half-sessional. The maximum weekly universal subsidy rate of €20 is paid on a pro-rata basis according to session type and is not paid on an hourly basis. Please see the following table for a breakdown of the rates pre session type.

Table 1: Universal Subsidy (CCSU) rates

UCS Session Type

Weekly Subsidy

Full-time (i.e. 5 hours plus per day)

€20

Part-time (i.e. 3 hours 31 mins to 5 hours per day)

€10

Sessional (i.e. 2 hours 16 mins to 3 hours 30 mins per day)

€7

Half-sessional (i.e. 1 hour 15 mins to 2 hours 15 mins per day)

€3.50

The subsidy-rates according to session type are based on a rate of 50 cents per hour, allocated pro rata depending on the number of hours per week the child attends a childcare service. The maximum rate of €20 per week - for full-time childcare - is based on 40 hours of childcare per week.

On the basis of the number of children availing of the universal payment across all session types in the week ending April 30 2018, assuming no change in demand, the table below shows estimates of the full year cost of CCSU at the current rate of 50 cent per hour and the projected full year cost of CCSU if increased by €1 per hour to €1.50 per hour. It should be stressed that the projected full-year cost of €51.3m is based on an assumption that the demand for childcare would not change in response to the increase in the universal subsidy. If the increased subsidy were to lead to an increase in the demand for childcare, then the cost of the measure would rise accordingly.

Table 2: Projected cost of CCSU

Full year cost of CCSU at 50c per hour

Full year cost of CCSU at €1.50 per hour

€17,085,831

€51,257,493