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Donegal County Childcare prompt review of supports for working families

20/02/2014. Cost of childcare Report. Pictured Ala

Minister Frances Fitzgerald has openly acknowledged the initiative taken by Donegal County Childcare in taking this proposal forward and has reiterated that the ‘Supporting Working Families – Releasing a brake on economic growth’ report will be central to the Government review. In her comments to the Joint Committee on Health and Children she stated that the cost of childcare is a cutting edge issue for the Irish economy in the years ahead.

Avril McMonagle, Manager of Donegal County Childcare, who initiated the research compiled by Indecon International Economic Consultants, is delighted with the organisations success in not only getting this issue to the table, but also by being able to back up a long talked about issue with a statistical analysis and realistically costed solutions. It just proves that you can talk about an issue as much as you like but it’s only when you can provide workable solutions with a costed price tag that you’ll move beyond talking to yourself.

When developing the research proposal for this work, Donegal Childcare were interested in setting this in the context of not so much the cost of childcare rather parents ability to afford childcare against average earnings in Ireland.

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Although this is a national report, we were of course particularly interested in its application to working families in County Donegal – and it was no surprise that this is where evidence was most dismal when applied to our own county.

Low income parents with children under 5 years old are caught in a poverty trap due to the in-affordability of childcare in our county. This is no longer an unfounded statement – it is a proven fact. Avril said ‘I have long believed that childcare is a fundamental component of economic policy – we need to start developing integrated policy in this area. We may not be able to do everything to solve the problem immediately – but we can do something. It is now a question of pace and scale in terms of the action we must take for working families’.

This success of the DCCC led initiative is now evident. DCCC were delighted to be invited to provide a presentation of the main findings of our work to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children on 20th February. DCCC were supported by Donegal TD’s Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and Charlie McConalogue at the committee proceedings even though they do not sit on the Health and Children Committee. We need everyone to both recognise and get behind this issue now to reverse this state of affairs.

Further information on the DCCC Indecon Report (downloadable www.donegalchildcare.com) and its findings and proposals, please do not hesitate to contact the DCCC office on 074 9123442 or contact info@donegalchildcare.com
If you would like to view DCCC’s presentation to the Joint Committee on Health and Children from the 20th February, please see the link below where DCCC’s presentation features as the first agenda item.
http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=25554&&CatID=127

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