Thursday, 3 October 2019

Ceisteanna (324)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

324. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the estimated cost of increasing each subsidy and level or grade 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. [40295/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The following table summarises the estimated ascending costs within the scenario described where all the subsidies are increased in 50 cent intervals across the National Childcare Scheme. The full year cost 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 existing maximum subsidy rates are:

0-1 year old = €5.10, 1-3 year old = €4.35, 3-5 year old = €3.95, School age = €3.75, Universal = €0.50

The scheme’s cost model is based on key assumptions around the preferences and behaviours of parents relating to working hours and childcare type, 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.

It should be noted that substantial increases in childcare capacity would be required to meet the demand created by increasing the total subsidy cost, particularly at the higher end, as described below. The work of the Expert group on a new Funding Model is also critical to ensure that increased subsidisation results in better quality for children and lower fees charged to parents.

Increase all subsidy rates by

€0.50

€1.00

€1.50

€2.00

€2.50

€3.00

€3.50

€4.00

€4.50

€5.00

€5.50

€6.00

€6.50

Additional Cost per annum

€58m

€121m

€189m

€261m

€337m

€418m

€502m

€591m

€684m

€781m

€884m

€991m

€1103m