Thursday, 3 October 2019

Ceisteanna (323)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

323. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the estimated cost of increasing the universal subsidy amount of the national childcare scheme by 50c, €1, €1.50, €2.00, €2.50, €3.00, €3.50, €4.00, €4.50, €5.00, €5.50, €6.00 and €6.50, respectively in tabular form. [40294/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The following table summarises the estimated ascending costs within the scenario described where the universal minimum subsidy is increased in 50 cent intervals up to €6.50 across the National Childcare Scheme, assuming the minimum targeted subsidy is increased so as never to be below the universal subsidy. The full year cost forming the basis for the calculation is provided.

The costs are arrived at by:

- establishing the number of families with children under 15 years by income bracket (data supplied by CSO) and

- profiling these families by reference to the age of their children and

- estimating the proportion of children in each income bracket and age range using centre-based care and

- calculating estimated subsidy rates based on income levels and age profile and

- applying estimates of the average hours used by age group for term time and non-term time.

The scheme’s cost model is based on key assumptions around the preferences and behaviours of parents relating to working hours and childcare choice, rates of growth in demand, and certain metrics are extrapolated from available data. As such, all estimates remain heavily caveated insofar as the scheme represents a considerable departure from existing schemes and this renders estimates inherently challenging. It is particularly difficult to estimate the behavioural changes that will result from  significant increases in the level of subsidy available, as detailed below:

 

Universal Rate

.50c

€1

€1.50

€2

€2.50

€3

€3.50

€4.00

€4.50

€5.00

€5.50

€6.00

€6.50

Additional Cost per annum

 

€25m

€52m

€ 81m

€112m

€145m

€180m

€223.5m

€285m

€365m

€450m

€535m

€628m