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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Sophie Collins

Thousands of parents to miss out on childcare support scheme due to 'confusing' exception

Thousands of people will miss out on the updated government subsidies for childminders as it was confirmed that they will not cover those deemed to be ‘nannies’.

Anne Ryan, a childminder in Ireland said it has been confusing to figure out what exactly will be covered, as plans are in motion to change the legal status of childminders.

Currently, the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) provides financial support to help parents with childcare costs.

READ MORE: There's a €580 payment a lot of people don't know they're entitled to - here's how to check

These subsidies are paid directly to childcare providers, but only if are registered with Tusla.

However, in Ireland, very few childminders are in fact registered, meaning most do not qualify for the support payment.

Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman is looking for Cabinet approval to change their legal status which would make them eligible for the payment and would benefit thousands of parents.

Speaking on Newstalk earlier today, however, Ms. Ryan warned that the changes will not cover childminders across the board.

She said: "I think something we need to make clear, which is very confusing for a lot of people when they're talking about childminding, is it's only people who are self-employed.

"They're working in their own homes looking after other people's children.

"If you’re minding in a parent's house - one of the children's houses - you're actually classed as a nanny.

"So that doesn't come into it under what they're talking about just now; you have to be in your own home minding the children".

She went on to say that a major issue which is arising is the strict rules around registering with Tusla.

Ms. Ryan explained: "Currently, the legislation states that you have to have a fourth-minded child before you can register with Tusla.

"Most childminders don't want to have four children; they have their own kids at home – they want just to have maybe one or two children that they're minding."

All this reportedly does not cover nannies who work in the home of others, because they’re deemed a different area of childcare.

"The nanny comes under a whole different childcare area," she said.

"In Ireland especially, it's very confusing - a lot of people hear 'childminder' and just assume that's anybody who looks after a child.

"There are different definitions for both: a nanny works in the parent's household, they usually just mind one family, and it's up to those parents to be employers to that person.

"As a childminder, which is what they're talking about today with the legislation, you work in your own home and you are self-employed".

She said there are many downsides to registering as a childminder and that Minister O'Gorman needs to speak with people on the ground.

"When they're doing this action plan that's coming in place, and the change in legislation, the Government needs to talk to childminders who are actually on the ground working.

"That's kind of a different part of it, but that also lacks as well.

"The consultation with childminders who are working currently is very, very minimal”.


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