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Funding Childcare in Ireland

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Presentation on theme: "Funding Childcare in 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 Number of children birth to six: 418,612 (10 % of population)

3 Irish Economy 1994-2007 “The Celtic Tiger”
Economic growth – averaged 7% p.a. between 1997 and 2005 Unemployment: 13.2% in 1990 4.3% in 2006 12.5% in 2009 Female labour force participation rate: : 30% 2006: 59% 2009: 54% Net Immigration

4 Impact on Govt Policy Debt/GDP ratio declined from 65% in to 28% in 2005. Government spending increased by 7% p.a. Taxation rates reduced (CGT 20%, CT 12.5%, Income Tax 20% & 41%) The main political party returned in 3 successive elections (1997, 2002 & 2007)

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

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

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

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

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

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

11 Birth rate 2002-9 (ECS announced in December 2005....)

12 Community Childcare Subvention Scheme 2008-2010 (CCSS)
Announced 2007 VFM Review of EOCP Replaced EOCP Staffing Grant Focus on disadvantage had been 'uneven' Increased funding by 50% “Targeted Universalism”

13 Irish Economy 2008-2010 (post Celtic Tiger...)
Massive downturn in Economic activity Tax Revenues back to 2005 levels ECS targeted in 2008 - 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
ECCE plan presented to Minister for Children Finance Minister's Advisor Minister to Minister Finance & Education officials Surprise announcement of Budget

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

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

17 January 2010 Scheme in operation
80% participation by qualified children (further 5% in CCSS) 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

18 2010-2012 Scheme to be consolidated Transitional measures
Improving qualifications of staff Improving access for Children with Special Needs 2012 onwards - ?

19 CETS scheme Sanctioned earlier this month
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) €20m in 2011 (additional cost is €7m – using funds which previously paid for CCSS transitional measures) To be in place from 30 August 2010

20 Non-Capital Grant aid to ECEC services, and ECS 2001-2011

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

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