Chartered Accountants Ireland has outlined a plan aimed at improving childcare policy for the benefit of both providers and parents.
The institute has proposed a series of steps which it said could leave working parents up to €4,500 a year better off and free up vital working capacity in the economy.
Its paper ‘Supporting Working Parents – The case for better childcare policy’, sets out the economic arguments for improved childcare provision as well as highlighting the experiences of working parents seeking childcare.
Among the measures proposed are the expediting of plans to enable parents who use childminders that are not registered with Tusla, to access the National Childcare Scheme.
The plan calls for the streamlining of the ‘Core Funding’ system in order to reduce the significant administration it has introduced for childcare providers.
The institute is calling for the funding of an appropriate and competitive level of pay for early years educators.
The plan proposes increases in funding, capital investment and grant support to the childcare sector.
It also highlights the need for an awareness campaign to increase knowledge among working parents of the supports that are already in place.
“As a mother of two young children, I’ve seen first-hand the difficulties in securing creche places, the scramble to find a childminder, and the quest to make full-time employment viable for parents,” said Cróna Clohisey, Tax & Public Policy Lead, Chartered Accountants Ireland.
“The policy tools to address these are already largely in place, so it is time to move to solutions mode.
“Implementation and awareness are the two major hurdles that need to be overcome, and bolder interventions are now required if effective change is to be achieved in the childcare space.”