Childminding cuts to hit working parents

Government cuts in spending on official childminders will lead to mothers working fewer hours and some stopping work altogether, according to research carried out by Vyvoij for the childminders association, quoted in Monday’s AD.

The cabinet is slashing the official childminding rate from €6 to €2.50 an hour per child and limiting parents to 12 hours a week in subsidies because of a massive budget overspend.
Some 45% of childminders say they will stop working because of the effect on their income. ‘These measures are having drastic consquences,’ Vyvoij researcher Maria Jongsma told the AD.
The shortage of registered minders means some 50% of parents will change or reduce their working hours while one in five parents will stop working entirely, the researchers say.
But junior education minister Sharon Dijksma, who is in charge of pre-school education, said the researchers had got it wrong. ‘Many people who currently get subsidises to look after children are grandparents, who used to do it for free. It would not be logical for them to stop if they suddenly got paid less,’ she told NOS tv.
René Paas, chairman of the CNV trade union federation, said the results of the survey were shocking and called on the cabinet to reconsider its plans to cut spending on childminders.
The formalised childminding sector is largely responsible for a 25% overspend on the €4bn childcare budget.

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