Avondhu region childcare raised in Dáil debate

The Dáil has heard of concerns of parents around problems associated with childcare for workers in The Avondhu region. 

Cork East TD Seán Sherlock, questioned Health Minister Simon Harris about potential Government plans to restore childcare for workers across North Cork. He raised the matter in a Dáil debate this week. 

“Although this is not directly within the minister’s brief, I know he will look through the health prism at the resumption of childcare for working people, not only for those who are frontline workers, but across society.

“I am sure the minister will appreciate that where two people within a family are working while also trying to manage childcare, it gives rise to domestic challenges.  

“What is the minister’s perspective on whether the Government plans to roll out a childcare scheme that could see more workers outside certain sectors filtering back into the workplace, or at least free up time for people who are working within the home at present, by enabling them to send the kids to crèche or a childminder at least, to alleviate some of the pressures happening on the domestic front at present?”

Minister Harris did not respond to Deputy Sherlock’s specific questions in the debate.

Frontline workers in various sectors are dealing with heightened childcare problems as their children are off school. In the HSE alone, the body has estimated that more than 8,000 healthcare staff are in need of childcare support.

The HSE has said that a survey on childcare difficulties being experienced by healthcare personnel had generated ‘limited’ information due to incomplete responses from staff and limitations on health service data systems.

Paul Reid, HSE chief executive, said approximately 7,000 staff from a total of around 140,000, stated they had or were expected to have childcare issues.