Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has welcomed Minister Katherine Zappone’s support for Sinn Féin’s proposal for creches and the announcement of a “Programme Support Payment” of €1,500 in light of rising insurance issue costs facing childcare providers.

The Sinn Féin TD raised the looming crisis facing many sectors due to massive increases in insurance costs in the Dáil this week.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Rocketing insurance costs have become a full-blown crisis across several sectors.

“This week I was contacted by representatives of the Naíonra in Scoil Chaitlín Maude in Knockmore who cannot afford the massive insurance rise for January 2020. They have been quoted a figure which would actually double their insurance costs for next year.

“Killinarden Community Centre is also facing possible closure because of the cost of insurance for the centre and it is trying to crowd fund to meet the rising cost. The centre is used by after-school clubs, youth clubs and senior citizens’ groups. It is the beating heart of the local community. Their insurance costs have risen from €8,000 in 2011 to €34,500 this year. That’s a whopping rise of 300%.

“The future of the Fettercairn Youth Horse Project is also under threat after its public insurance provider increased by almost 500% this year, from €8,520 to €42,000 in February 2020. Another small creche in Springfield in Tallaght with just 10 children one with special needs was facing a 1000 euro increase.

“None of the organisations have had claims made against them so there is no real justification, except to pursue even greater profits, for these massive increases.

“That is not sustainable for any organisation and these are only a small sample of the representations that have come across my desk. The government need to do more to tackle this massive crisis.”

Crowe continued:

“This week Sinn Féin called for an emergency payment to creches in order to keep their doors open in light of rising insurance costs.

“The Taoiseach initially rubbished this proposal and called it ‘reckless’, but hours later Minister Zappone announced a “Programme Support Payment” of €1,500 for childcare providers.

“There’s no doubt that this will make a difference to childcare providers, to workers and to parents but it shouldn’t have gotten to this stage and there needs to be a plan to prevent this in near future.

“This latest crisis is yet another feature of a childcare system that is fractured, overly regulated and doesn’t work for many parents, children or for childcare professionals. We need to tackle the current insurance monopoly and give realistic options to community-based organisations so they can continue to operate and serve their constituents.

“While this new programme of support is welcome it is only one small step and it won’t solve this huge insurance crisis and the deep problems in our childcare sector.”