Childcare Cost Review Given 10-month Deadline

Friday 4th August, 2017

Childcare Cost Review Given 10-month Deadline

“Independent Review will further transform our childcare system”

Statement by Minister Katherine Zappone

An Independent Review of the Cost of Delivering Quality Childcare is to be given a 10-month deadline to deliver findings which will decide future Government investment, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.

Minister Zappone has set the timeline so that the Review will produce findings ahead of budget decisions next year.

The Review has gone to tender with the Minister saying it represents a ‘huge undertaking to provide facts and figures on childcare.’

Announcing the issuing of the Request for Tenders Minister Zappone added:

“The first big step is being taken to change our childcare system from one of the most expensive in the world into the best. Government investment this year will top €466m, with extra supports for up to 70,000 children starting next month.

However I have always been clear that much more needs to be done if families are to have accessible affordable quality childcare.

In the coming weeks I will be seeking further investment in Budget 2018, but we must plan beyond that.

I am now honouring a commitment I secured in the Programme for Government by opening a tendering process for the ‘Independent Review of the Cost of Delivering Quality Childcare’.
The Review seeks to:
•    Analyse the current costs of providing childcare in Ireland and factors that impact on those costs; 
•    Develop a model of the unit cost/costs of providing childcare that allows analysis of policy changes and variation in cost-drivers, including the potential impact of increased professionalisation; 
•    Provide an objective, high level market analysis of the childcare sector in Ireland, including analysis of fee levels charged to parents; and
•    Provide a range of outputs as specified in the Request for Tenders. 

The results will help us finally build a sustainable quality childcare sector which will last for generations.

It will also ensure fairness in the distribution of supports and help address the genuine concerns over pay and conditions in the sector.

Our current ‘It Starts Now’ awareness campaign has tens of thousands of parents clicking on to see what extra supports are coming. But this is just the beginning. The opportunity has finally arrived to change childcare forever and this review will give us solid numbers, costs and other data on which to proceed.”