As the government announces consultation this week to provide subsidies for those using childminders, unpaid caring as an option is flatly rejected.
Cllr. Pauline O’Reilly, Green Party Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs, says: “We certainly need to provide subsidies for those using childminders; however it is time to think bigger and to value all care.
“Unpaid care needs to be supported too. Despite pleas to have stay-at-home parents recognised as providing a valuable service to society, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has consistently said that she will not support families who do not use crèches or paid childminders. This shows that the plan is not about the needs of families but purely concerned with the tax take.
“We need to support all families equally. Paying for care is not always about putting your hand in your pocket. Sometimes it means having no income at all when a parent stays at home. It is incredibly expensive whatever route you take and every family deserves affordable childcare.
“The childcare model being touted by the government continues to go down the wrong route. We need a public system of childcare and subsidies for all other families so that they can decide whether childminders, parents or other relatives are the most suitable to care for their children.
“The Minister has only one response and that is to get all parents out of the home, but families have different needs. Undermining the work of unpaid carers shows a complete lack of compassion for individual circumstances.”
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