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03 Jul 2022

Irish childcare group wants to keep enhanced wage subsidy scheme to help sector cope

Irish childcare group wants to keep enhanced wage subsidy scheme to help sector cope

Irish childcare group wants to keep enhanced wage subsidy scheme to help sector cope

A trade group representing Irish childcare providers is urgently calling on the government to maintain the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) at its current level. 

According to Childhood Services Ireland, the enhanced rate of EWSS is "essential" in maintaining the play pod system, which reduces the risk of Covid outbreaks in creches by separating children into groups. 

Director of Childhood Services Ireland, Darragh Whelan, said, "Without financial support, childcare services will really struggle to cope. The enhanced level of EWSS supports paid to childcare providers has allowed them to afford the staff required to operate the play pod system. This has been a hugely effective tactic in stopping the spread of Covid in childcare facilities and with the case numbers rising rapidly, it is more important than ever." 

According to Mr Whelan, further challenges are emerging as parents working remotely are withdrawing their children from childcare. 

He said, "This is putting even more pressure on childcare providers to cope financially. The childcare sector plays a crucial role in managing this public health crisis by providing education and care to the children of frontline workers and essential workers.

"The continuation of supports to maintain play pods is essential in suppressing rising Covid figures. We have been engaging with the Department of Children over the past few days on this issue and we hope the Government will consider our concerns." 

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