Early Childhood Ireland has written to all TDs in Galway this week asking for their commitment to ensure investment in the childcare sector is increased in Budget 2021.
The early years sector organisation is calling for increased spending over the next five years, and investment to focus on retaining the Employment Wage Support Scheme for the childcare sector.
Speaking yesterday, Director of Policy with ECI Frances Byrne said that substantially increased investment for early years and school-age childcare must be an immediate and sustained focus for the Government.
“Budget 2021 will be the first test of how well they meet this challenge,” she said. “Ireland has consistently remained at the bottom of the class when it comes to investment in childcare.
“According to the OECD, we invest the least amount in early years of any developed country as a percentage of GDP.”
The organisation’s pre-Budget submission includes a call to increase Exchequer spending on childcare to 0.5% of GDP by 2023, and to 1% by 2025.
They’re also calling for the Government to state how it plans to increase investment over the next four years.
“If the Government is serious about their commitments in the Programme for Government, then a multi-annual plan is needed,” added Francis Byrne.
She called on TDs in Galway to back their call for increased investment in childcare in Budget 2021.
“Our members in Galway and nationwide will continue to engage with local politicians on this issue between now and Budget Day on 13 October.”