Rural childcare providers have warned that they will have to close due to the new allocation of core funding for the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE).

Last week, over 500 creche providers took to the streets of Dublin to protest outside the Dáil against the allocation of childcare funding.

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman announced the Government’s commitment to double childcare funding based on 2018 expenditure from €485m to €970m by 2028 in December. This is a significant step forward to bring Ireland’s childcare sector, which is considered bottom of class, more in line with its European counterparts. The funding is set to come into effect this September. However, there are major question marks about how it is being allocated to ECCE providers.

Figures show that a large childcare provider could receive funding of €174,230 per year whereas small providers could be looking at funding as little as €5,737, just 3% of the funding that a large provider receives.

Just before the Irish Farmers Journal went to print, contracts were administered to these small childcare providers. They are now saying that the level of funding that will receive will make it impossible for them to stay in business, resulting in closures in rural-based providers.

Read interview with Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman here.