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22/10/2021

New regulations causing distress to Carlow afterschool services, says local TD

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Deputy Bobby Aylward

Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow/Kilkenny, Bobby Aylward, has said that new regulations on compliance reports and audits are causing great distress to community managed and operated afterschool childcare providers.

Deputy Aylward was commenting following the introduction of new restrictions and said: "Minister Katherine Zappone has rushed through this decision without properly engaging with any childcare providers. 

"The Carlow Kilkenny Community Childcare Forum, who have been to the fore of this issue, expressed their disappointment with the lack of engagement from the Minister's Department and I can see why they, and all childcare providers, are unhappy."

He added: "These services are vital for working parents, who want to see their children cared for in a safe and happy environment. The fact that neither the providers nor the parents have been consulted is astounding.

"Many of these school aged childcare services take place in national schools, allowing kids to do their homework and chat with their friends. Some schools even offer breakfast clubs before school to facilitate parents who need to leave for work early in the morning.

"These regulations require new staff ratios that are essentially double what most providers are operating at, and this will have a serious impact on the cost base of services.

"I called on the Minister to meet with the Carlow Kilkenny Community Childcare Forum, to hear from them, the real impact of these changes."

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