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Funding Childcare in Ireland Darragh Doherty Office of the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs (OMCYA), Ireland.

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Presentation on theme: "Funding Childcare in Ireland Darragh Doherty Office of the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs (OMCYA), Ireland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Funding Childcare in Ireland Darragh Doherty Office of the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs (OMCYA), Ireland

2 Country Profile Ireland Population: 4.23m (April 2006) Land Area: 68,890 sq km EU Member State 418,612 Number of children birth to six: 418,612 (10 % of population)

3 Irish Economy “The Celtic Tiger” Economic growth – averaged 7% p.a. between 1997 and 2005 Economic growth – averaged 7% p.a. between 1997 and 2005 Unemployment: 13.2% in 1990 Unemployment: 13.2% in % in % in % in % in 2009 Female labour force participation rate: 1985: 30% Female labour force participation rate: 1985: 30% 2006: 59% 2006: 59% 2009: 54% 2009: 54% Net Immigration Net Immigration

4 Impact on Govt Policy Debt/GDP ratio declined from 65% in 1997 to 28% in Debt/GDP ratio declined from 65% in 1997 to 28% in Government spending increased by 7% p.a Government spending increased by 7% p.a. Taxation rates reduced (CGT 20%, CT 12.5%, Income Tax 20% & 41%) Taxation rates reduced (CGT 20%, CT 12.5%, Income Tax 20% & 41%) The main political party returned in 3 successive elections (1997, 2002 & 2007) The main political party returned in 3 successive elections (1997, 2002 & 2007)

5 Childcare Funding Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme (EOCP) Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme (EOCP) EU co-funded EU co-funded €525m over 7 years €525m over 7 years 50% capital 50% capital 34% staffing 34% staffing 16% quality/supports 16% quality/supports Created and/or supported 40,000 childcare places Created and/or supported 40,000 childcare places Suceeded by National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) Suceeded by National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP)

6 EOCP Staffing Scheme Start-up grant for not-for profit services Start-up grant for not-for profit services Generally linked to EOCP Capital Generally linked to EOCP Capital Initially 3-year Initially 3-year Extended for disadvantaged services in late Extended for disadvantaged services in late €37 million in 2007 €37 million in 2007

7 2005 Announcement of OMC & ECS 2 bye-elections in bye-elections in 2005 Childcare costs Childcare costs Early Childcare Supplement (ECS) Early Childcare Supplement (ECS) Office of the Minister for Children (OMC) Office of the Minister for Children (OMC)

8 OMCYA Founded in 2006 as OMC Founded in 2006 as OMC (Youth Affairs joined 2007) (Youth Affairs joined 2007) Childcare, Childrens Services, Youth Justice, Youth Participation, Early Education, Youth work Childcare, Childrens Services, Youth Justice, Youth Participation, Early Education, Youth work Childcare Directorate Childcare Directorate -ECS -EOCP/NCIP

9 ECS Response to political pressures Response to political pressures Universal Family Benefit Universal Family Benefit Children under 6 Children under 6 €1,000 p.a. (rose to €1,100) €1,000 p.a. (rose to €1,100) All parents (MWAHs) All parents (MWAHs) Exportable under EU Regulations Exportable under EU Regulations

10 Pros & Cons of ECS Pros Supported families with high childcare costs, who also had high housing costs Supported families with high childcare costs, who also had high housing costs Supported all families regardless of childcare choices Supported all families regardless of childcare choices Preferred approach of the Finance Ministry Preferred approach of the Finance MinistryCons Didn't support ECEC sector Didn't support ECEC sector Could be spent on non-childcare expenses Could be spent on non-childcare expenses Unlikely to improve access to pre-school among disadvantaged children Unlikely to improve access to pre-school among disadvantaged children Wouldn't facilitate improvement of standards in ECEC sector Wouldn't facilitate improvement of standards in ECEC sector Was not the preferred approach of the Childcare Directorate Was not the preferred approach of the Childcare Directorate

11 Birth rate (ECS announced in December )

12 Community Childcare Subvention Scheme (CCSS) Announced 2007 Announced 2007 VFM Review of EOCP VFM Review of EOCP Replaced EOCP Staffing Grant Replaced EOCP Staffing Grant Focus on disadvantage had been 'uneven' Focus on disadvantage had been 'uneven' Increased funding by 50% Increased funding by 50% “Targeted Universalism” “Targeted Universalism”

13 Irish Economy (post Celtic Tiger...) Massive downturn in Economic activity Massive downturn in Economic activity Tax Revenues back to 2005 levels Tax Revenues back to 2005 levels ECS targeted in 2008 ECS targeted in rate restored to €1,000 p.a. -eligibility reduced to 5 years -administrative savings -widely expected to be abolished in 2009

14 ECS to ECCE April 2009 Budget April 2009 Budget ECCE plan presented to Minister for Children ECCE plan presented to Minister for Children Finance Minister's Advisor Finance Minister's Advisor Minister to Minister Minister to Minister Finance & Education officials Finance & Education officials Surprise announcement of Budget Surprise announcement of Budget

15 Appeal of the Scheme Supports children who would not otherwise attend pre-school Supports children who would not otherwise attend pre-school Supports the costs of families who would have used pre-school Supports the costs of families who would have used pre-school Safeguarded childcare services under severe strain Safeguarded childcare services under severe strain Maintain employment in childcare sector, retaining trained/experienced staff Maintain employment in childcare sector, retaining trained/experienced staff Allows higher standards to be required of participating services Allows higher standards to be required of participating services Better long-term outcomes for all children Better long-term outcomes for all children

16 Appeal of Scheme to Finance Savings Savings More targeted More targeted Seen as intelligent use of limited resources Seen as intelligent use of limited resources Safeguarded capital investment Safeguarded capital investment Maintain employment in childcare sector, and lessened likely increases in welfare costs Maintain employment in childcare sector, and lessened likely increases in welfare costs Support for parents Support for parents Benefits all families as an educational measure Benefits all families as an educational measure POPULAR – “No brainer” POPULAR – “No brainer”

17 January 2010 Scheme in operation Scheme in operation 80% participation by qualified children (further 5% in CCSS) 80% participation by qualified children (further 5% in CCSS) 85% (3,800) of pre-schools and crèches participating (a further 500 applying from September) 85% (3,800) of pre-schools and crèches participating (a further 500 applying from September) Top-up fees not allowed in pre- schools, scheme is available free to all children Top-up fees not allowed in pre- schools, scheme is available free to all children

18 Scheme to be consolidated Scheme to be consolidated Transitional measures Transitional measures Improving qualifications of staff Improving qualifications of staff Improving access for Children with Special Needs Improving access for Children with Special Needs 2012 onwards - ? 2012 onwards - ?

19 CETS scheme Sanctioned earlier this month Sanctioned earlier this month Childcare support for students/trainees in vocational training and education courses Childcare support for students/trainees in vocational training and education courses Replaces system of 3 different subsidies with one capitation (i.e. A free place for parent) Replaces system of 3 different subsidies with one capitation (i.e. A free place for parent) €20m in 2011 (additional cost is €7m – using funds which previously paid for CCSS transitional measures) €20m in 2011 (additional cost is €7m – using funds which previously paid for CCSS transitional measures) To be in place from 30 August 2010 To be in place from 30 August 2010

20 Non-Capital Grant aid to ECEC services, and ECS

21 Critical Success Factors Linking policy with credible implementation plan Linking policy with credible implementation plan Demonstrate proposal meets needs that general public understand and support Demonstrate proposal meets needs that general public understand and support Identify where the money will come from (and why) Identify where the money will come from (and why) Think about how scheme can develop Think about how scheme can develop Know what you'll compromise on, and what you can't Know what you'll compromise on, and what you can't Understanding Key Deliverables for Finance Ministry Understanding Key Deliverables for Finance Ministry Value for Money Value for Money Show immediate ‘return’ to Exchequer if possible Show immediate ‘return’ to Exchequer if possible Move quickly! Move quickly!


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