Total funding of €127m for child care and youth services has been announced bringing the total investment to €1.5 billion for 2019.

A €89m increase for childcare in 2019 will facilitate the introduction of new Affordable Childcare Scheme.  The Maximum Net Income Threshold will increase by 26% from €47,500 to €60,000 per annum.  Changes will benefit thousands of families and will bring an additional 7,500 children into the scheme with improved subsidies for over 40,000 others.

Senator Lawlor met with Minister Zappone to stress the need for additional funding for childcare particularly to expand the scheme to include more parents and children.

Senator Lawlor said “This additional investment in childcare is vital. Childcare costs and provision are one of the biggest challenges facing families today.  State investment in childcare reduces the cost of living for hard-pressed families.  The Affordable Childcare Scheme will make a real difference in the lives of thousands of families and their children not only in terms of accessing childcare but also in terms of encouraging people back into the workplace.”

“Lone parents and those with additional caring responsibilities, juggling hectic lives, will hopefully see things become easier and more manageable thanks to this investment.”

Minister Zappone said “I am very pleased that we have again delivered as promised on the commitment to continue investing in our children and young people. I am delighted we are able to increase income thresholds to bring more children and families into the scheme, I am also very pleased that I have managed to adjust the lower income band, meaning that maximum subsidy rates will now be paid to all families with a net annual income of up to €26,000. This ‘poverty proofs’ the scheme by ensuring that families at or below the relative income poverty line will benefit from the very highest subsidy rates under the scheme.”