Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Ceisteanna (371)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

371. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if his attention has been drawn to the fact that childcare providers are charging parents for childcare due to parents' jobs being referenced in the list of essential workers even when this work is being carried out at home and children are not availing of childcare; his views on whether this is appropriate; if advice will be given to childcare providers and parents in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2600/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Early learning and care (ELC) and school aged childcare (SAC) services are provided by private enterprises, either privately owned or operated by community organisations. While service providers are contracted by my Department to provide services at a subsidised rate to parents they are free to set their own policies regarding the charging of fees.

If a parent of an eligible child chooses not to take an available place, the service providers’ fee policy will apply.

I am aware, and welcome that, many ELC/SAC providers have refunded or credited fees for parents who cannot access services at this time. I have asked that services take this step, where possible, in light of the significant State supports provided to the sector.