People Before Profit Dublin Mid-West by-election candidate Kellie Sweeney has said that the new National Childcare scheme “does not go far enough” and “will not reduce the burden of childcare on low and middle income families.”

The new National Childcare Scheme was launched today and will give subsidies to families for childcare costs at centres registered with TUSLA.

All families, regardless of income, will receive a 50c subsidy per hour of childcare up to 40 hours per week, or €20 per week.

Kellie Sweeney said: “This new scheme does very little to reduce the burden of childcare costs on low and middle income families. I, like many others, had to give up my job as a nurse because of the high cost of childcare.

“Ireland still has one of the lowest spending in Europe on childcare. The privatised system in Ireland means that providers can pocket massive profits while the workers are earning less than the living wage. We need a Swedish-style system of public creche’s subsidised by the state.

“The new National Childcare Scheme will see low income families losing out to give a paltry subsidy to middle income families. The scheme could have serious consequences for community creches as the Community Childcare Subsidy Plus scheme is discontinued.”