The DCYA recently launched a public consultation on the new scheme. This survey seeks practitioners, parents and other key stakeholders’ views on the design of the new Affordable Childcare Scheme. A public consultation was carried out in April-May 2015 on priorities for Government investment in childcare, which informed the Report of the Inter-Departmental Working Group: Future Investment in Childcare in Ireland.
That report, which also examined the evidence base for different policy approaches, recommended – among other proposals – a single childcare subvention scheme with eligibility based on income.
On 28 October 2016, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs published the Policy Paper on the Development of a New Single Affordable Childcare Scheme, which sets out detailed plans for the scheme and is now carrying out this public consultation on the detail of the scheme’s design.
The Department will use survey responses to help refine specific design features as well as to consider options for future development.
The full policy paper on the scheme is available here. In general, the scheme seeks to make high quality childcare more affordable for those who need it. The scheme seeks to address the needs of children, parents and childcare providers. While it will be introduced in September 2017, it will provide an infrastructure through which any further State investment in future budgets can be administered. The scheme will complement other commitments in the Programme for Government such as those relating to extended paid parental leave, enhancements to the Home Carer Tax Credit, etc. The survey contains four sections: one for parents, one for childcare providers, and two for everybody. Please answer any sections which are relevant to you – you may complete all four sections if you wish. When you have completed the survey, please press the DONE button on the final page.
The survey is open from Friday 28 October to Friday 25 November. Your response will be anonymous, but if you are responding on behalf of an organisation there is an opportunity to name the organisation. Your response may be subject to Freedom of Information requests, and summary results may be published by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.