Early Childhood Ireland renews call for increased childcare investment in Budget 2021

– Organisation’s spokespersons available to provide live reaction tomorrow, as Budget is announced –

Early Childhood Ireland, the leading organisation in the early years sector, has said Budget 2021 must increase Exchequer spending on childcare to 0.5% of GDP by 2023 and to 1% by 2025.

“Investment over the coming year must focus on retaining the Employment Wage Support Scheme (EWSS) for the childcare sector,” said Frances Byrne, Director of Policy with Early Childhood Ireland. “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown starkly just how crucial our sector is, but also how under-funded and vulnerable it is.

“Substantially increased investment for early years and school-age childcare must be a sustained focus for the Government. Budget 2021 will be the first test of how well they meet this challenge.

“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.

“In Budget 2021, as well as increasing funding for childcare, the Government must also state how it plans to increase investment to 1% of GDP 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.”

Representatives from Early Childhood Ireland will be available for media commentary on the Budget throughout the day tomorrow, Tuesday, 13th October, and over the following days. Media looking for budget reaction or advance commentary should contact Emma Walsh, 083-3839791.