Republic of Ireland Budget 2023 announces increased funding for childcare
The Irish Minister for Public Expenditure used today’s Budget 2023 to announce funding for the childcare sector that will reduce childcare fees for parents, from January 2023. The scheme, which will cost €121 million, will increase existing subsidies for those availing of the National Childcare Scheme to reduce fees by up to 25% per week.
A further allocation of €59 million will enhance the recently established Core Funding model, supporting the payment of higher wages for staff working in the sector, improving sustainability and enhancing capacity in the sector.
The Minister confirmed that the childcare budget would reach €1 billion next year – five years ahead of target.
Important learning to support the development of a new Childcare Strategy for Northern Ireland
There is important learning here for Northern Ireland as we look to the development of a new integrated Early Learning and Childcare Strategy. The new Strategy must be ambitious in seeking to support the entire sector here to be more sustainable, the workforce to receive better pay and recognition, keeping a focus on quality early education and care outcomes for children, and in addressing the affordability of childcare for parents.