Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Ceisteanna (202)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

202. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if it is still a requirement for parents to use a public services card to register for the national childcare scheme in view of the recent determination of the Data Protection Commission; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37941/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

When it is fully up and running, applications for the National Childcare Scheme will be accepted both online and by post.  A Public Services Card (PSC) and verified MyGovID account are required to apply online only. The online application process will be introduced first, currently targeted for 29 October,  followed shortly thereafter with the paper based application process. 

In regard to the report by the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) into the PSC, the Government and the Attorney General have carefully considered the findings of the report, including the legal basis for the use of the PSC by specified bodies or persons (such as the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs). The Government has agreed to challenge the findings of the report, as based on the legal advice received, it does not believe the DPC’s findings are correct in law. The advice of the Attorney General’s Office is that there is a strong legal basis for the continued public service wide use of the PSC. 

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is continuing to engage with the DPC on this issue and is keeping the Department of Children and Youth Affairs updated. 

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs remains committed to delivering the National Childcare Scheme as planned and, in so doing, assisting thousands of families to access high quality and affordable early learning and care and school age childcare.