100 signatures reached
To: Katherine Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs
Include professional childminders in new childcare subsidies now
Include professional childminders, who are trained, insured & garda vetted, in the new childcare subsidy scheme right away. Thousands of working parents depend on them. Don't wait until next year.
Why is this important?
At the moment, only 125 childminders are registered with TUSLA & included in the new childcare package in Budget 2017.
However, up to 2000 more professional childminders are:
-Registered members of Childminding Ireland or
-Notified to County Childcare Committees, or
-Registered with Revenue for Childcare Tax Relief
Most of these professional childminders have insurance, garda vetting and training in childcare. Surveys indicate that over 50% have FETAC 5 in childcare.
They are not registered with TUSLA because they are NOT ALLOWED TO, since they mind 3 or fewer children at any one time.
Thousands of parents choose childminding because they feel it's the best for their children. Thousands more rural parents choose a childminder because there is no other option. Thousands more choose a childminder because they offer flexible, often very long hours, to parents, who may need childcare for over 12 hours a day. They should be able to avail of the childcare subsidies at their professional childminders.
The Goodbody Report estimated that there were 19,000 childminders with as many as 57,000 children attending a 'hidden‘ childminding service in 2011. It is completely unacceptable that only 125 childminders (,0.1%) will be included in the new scheme. Ultimately all childminders should be included in some form of registration and all families who choose childminder care should be supported.
In the meantime, at least include those who have spent considerable time and money in becoming professionals and engaging with professional and state agencies.
IT IS UNFAIR TO EXCLUDE THEM WHEN THEY CANNOT REGISTER WITH TUSLA.
IT IS UNFAIR TO THE THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES AND CHILDREN THEY SERVE.
Minister, do the right thing, and include these professional childminders in the new childcare subsidy scheme.
How it will be delivered