Over 50% of parents are unaware of State supports under the National Childcare Scheme
Parents are urged to avail of supports available to them under the National Childcare Scheme, including new supports introduced in recent days, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Emer Higgins, Fine Gael TD for Dublin Mid West was speaking following the extension of universal subsidies under the National Childcare Scheme to all children under 15 using registered childcare, with up to 40,000 estimated to benefit by up to €1,170 per annum.
Deputy Higgins said: “Childcare is a massive expense for parents and meeting the cost can be a huge stress for families, especially in the context of the current cost-of-living crisis.
“A recent survey by Ipsos MRBI shows that many parents aren’t claiming their full entitlement under the National Childcare Scheme and awareness of supports under the National Childcare Scheme is low so the Department of Children will be undertaking a campaign to raise awareness.
“I am encouraging parents to visit www.ncs.gov.ie or call the Parent Support Centre on 01 906 8530 or talk to their childcare provider to make sure they are availing of the new and existing financial supports that they are entitled to,” said Deputy Higgins.
“Since 29 August, all children under 15 in regulated school-age childcare are entitled to supports under the National Childcare Scheme and many parents don’t know this yet.”
The results from a nationally representative survey of more than 500 families, undertaken in July by Ipsos MRBI, found that:
• Less than half (48%) of parents were aware of supports available under the National Childcare Scheme.
• 32% of parents using regulated early learning and care for children not yet in school reported they did not receive any State subsidy, despite many having an entitlement to support under the National Childcare Scheme.
• 80% of parents using regulated school-age childcare reported they did not receive any State subsidy.
“Budget 2023 will see the continuation of significant investment being made by government to support parents with the costs of education and childcare and it is so important that parents ensure that they are fully availing of supports that are available to them,” concluded Deputy Higgins.