Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs and MEP candidate for the Midlands-North-West, Anne Rabbitte TD, is set to introduce a Bill which will make childcare providers exempt from commercial rates.

Deputy Rabbitte commented:

The cost of doing business is soaring and this is impacting on childcare facilities. Rising insurance costs and increasing commercial rates are seeing many childcare providers close their doors. This is why it is so important to introduce a Bill to protect these businesses.

The Valuation (Amendment) Act 2019 will exempt buildings and land used exclusively by registered early years and school-aged childcare services providers from commercial rates. This is the norm for other types of properties such as educational facilities.

My own experience in the early childhood sector, when I helped establish a community creche in my hometown, is that that childcare service providers have struggled for recognition and support.

Deputy Rabbitte continued:

Commercial rates represent a significant expense for childcare service providers, with many providers paying tens of thousands for commercial rates alone. This adds to the cost base of childcare, which is already unaffordable for many working families.

Deputy Rabbitte concluded:

The European Commission, in their country report 2019, warned that Irish families avail of a much lower rate of formal childcare for children enrolled in childcare for 30 hours or more. We should be making every effort to bring down costs for families.  This Bill aims to reduce the soaring costs of childcare and stop the growing trend of childcare facilities closing down.

 

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