Tuesday, 20th February 2018
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The countdown for more affordable childcare for families in Waterford has begun, according to Independent Alliance Minister, John Halligan.

Minister Halligan has confirmed that local childcare services are now receiving information in the post about new arrangements, which will see families benefit by an extra €19m nationwide.

The mail-shot to providers is going to be followed by a major awareness campaign aimed at parents and families – which will be launched by the end of the month.

"Under the new scheme, which will kick in this September, the child can be in full or part-time registered childcare and there will be no minimum number of hours and no maximum number of weeks for eligibility", Minister Halligan noted. "I would encourage every family in Waterford to spend time in the coming weeks examining their entitlements and make sure they get the full benefit of what’s on offer. Affordable childcare for families who need it most has been neglected by successive governments. While this scheme will not repair the damage overnight, it will provided targeted help where it's needed most."

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone said switching our childcare system from being one of the most expensive in the world to one of the best was never going to be easy:

"We are going to lift the cost barrier for those families who need it most. These targeted supports will be enhanced significantly with the top rate of subsidy available rising from €95 per week to €145 per week and part-time rates will increase to €80 per week. The extra money will be available for those parents who cannot enter work, training or education because they cannot pay for childcare. They will also be available to those who are working but on lower incomes and for whom the cost of childcare acts as a major disincentive."

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