New report has recommended extending maternity leave in Ireland

At the moment mothers of new born children are entitled to six months maternity leave In Ireland. A new report that looks into reforming investment into childcare in Ireland has recommended extending maternity leave. The report, produced by the Inter-departmental Working Group, looks at extending this by a further six months with the option of dividing the additional time between the two parents.

It is estimated that this could potentially come in at a cost of €273 million for 6 months which works out at €10.5 million every week. There is also a recommendation for capping of childcare fees at a suggested €4.50 an hour, with lower rates for those on reduced incomes.

The document is clear that an agreement for a childcare package is due in the upcoming budget has not yet been agreed, and t
hat this paper is a “discussion document”.

It is also suggested that the Early Child Care Education scheme should be extended so that parents will be required to wait until September to enrol their children for pre-school.

There are also recommendations given about how further childcare costs should be funded, with it being advised that tax credits could potentially reduce the supply of childcare available to parents.

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