Belfast Telegraph

Katherine Zappone outlines measures to support childcare providers

These include moves to iron out challenges with the new National Childcare Scheme.

Children’s minister Katherine Zappone has outlined measures ‘to alleviate some of the burden on the childcare sector’ (Niall Carson/PA)
Children’s minister Katherine Zappone has outlined measures ‘to alleviate some of the burden on the childcare sector’ (Niall Carson/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

The minister for children has outlined a number of measures to support childcare providers.

The actions outlined by Katherine Zappone include addressing the information overload between different agencies and providers, providing a better customer service to providers, ironing out challenges with the new National Childcare Scheme and supporting providers in terms of regulations.

Ms Zappone said the measures are designed to alleviate some of the burden on the childcare sector.

“There has been a huge increase in investment and in capacity in the childcare sector in the past five years,” she said.

We have agreed a number of measures which we anticipate will alleviate some of the burden on the childcare sector Katherine Zappone

“This is good news but I think it is fair to acknowledge that the system has been challenged in keeping up with this development of the sector.

“This is why we have agreed a number of short-term measures which aim to reduce the burden on providers.

“When I met the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs on December 18, I told them that my department, Pobal and Tusla would work together in 2020 to simplify and streamline procedures so that those in the sector are not over-burdened with administration. Today, we have examined ways that we can do this.

“We have identified ways we can work together to streamline and improve our communications and offer better supports to providers.

“We have agreed a number of measures which we anticipate will alleviate some of the burden on the childcare sector.”

One of the key measures agreed is the establishment of a National Stakeholder Consultative Forum in which the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the Department of Education and Skills, Pobal and Tusla will work directly with the Early Years Sector.

PA

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