The Government Pre School Scheme / Scam


This is a cockeyed scam to mop up the 2000 ( I exaggerate) primary teachers about to quailfy this year into no jobs market from what I can see.

It is a gross distortion of the market , it will affect the financial viability of creches nationwide who subsidise 0-1 year old care and make it back between 1 and 5 . Now the government takes half this payback period off them.

Why are parents of 0-3 year ( and 4.5-6 year) old children being deprived of the supplement solely in favour of those aged between c.3 and 4.5 years .

Will existing creche / montessori be able to participate in the scheme.

Will it mean that there will be no cost to have a child in such a scheme when they are aged between 3 and 4.5 years …IE will there be a large drop in childcare costs between those ages ?


I can’t for the life of me understand why they don’t make childcare tax deductible.

All this fucking about with blanket cash hand outs regardless of whether children were actually in childcare or not.

And now this nonsense scheme about a free year of pre-school. By the way 2pack, I read that the scheme doesn’t apply to children over 4 years and 6 months.


edited Canny and thanks


How will it take the payback off the creches. The way it was presented on the news last night was that parents would get a voucher for 12.5 hours a week preschool time for one year. It sounded to me like these vouchers could just be redeemed for cash by the creches. What’s wrong with this?

It would obviously hit unofficial childminding arrangements hard, but maybe that’s part of the intention. All children who are 0-3 will eventually hit 3-5 and be able to get the subsidised year so I don’t see an unfairness there, other than the fact that the current payment to everyone will eventually be phased out.

If anyone wins it’s people whose children are already 3-5 and therefore get to partake of the new scheme next January but never had to go 3 or 4 years without the current payments.

If people don’t like this change I suggest they take it up with their local Green & FF candidates.

What concerns me more is the suggestion that they a seriously considering means testing the children’s allowance. Just tax it Lenny you tit. What’s the point of a means test other than to keep FF voting civil servants in pointless and non-productive ‘employment’?

#5 (via AAM)


The reason there isn’t a tax credit for childcare is because this would ‘disadvantage’ stay at home mothers. See Sarah Carey in today’s IT.

As coc points out, the new preschool scheme will hurt people with ‘unofficial’ arrangements. Personally, I think parents should be allowed every opportunity to find a childcare solution that works for them without having to contend with perverse incentives created by government. Why privilege State-endorsed solutions over family-endorsed solutions? Just another sign that the Government regards all resources in the State - including the human resources! - as part of its ownership ambit; the citizen is just renting them on sufferance.


Preschool isn’t the same as childcare. Many children who are at home with a parent or with a child minder still go to preschool for a few hours a week when they reach 3 or 4.

They should have introduced the free preschool years ago rather than the cynical vote buying payment they introduced.

Of course in deprived areas where there is already a “head start” preschool year they will lose the payment with no increased benefit.


And how many votes would this cost FF? Zero.


Whats the betting even this alleged 1 year free preschool a) will not be accessible to many people locally, especially in rural areas, and b) will not be taken up by many both at the lower and upper end of society for differing reasons - upper class areas will go with a private pre-school and at the lower end many parents won’t be bothered.


The upper class parents can use their vouchers in their private preschools and at the lower end the voucher will probably go even further in an already subsised community preschool which will make the year free. Lots of people will take up free preschool places.


Who is going to administer this unnecessarily complicated mess? Are they going to hire more pen-pushers in the PS? And this arbitrary age of 4 years six months - so your kid reaches that age but you don’t want to start them in school til they’re five, let’s say - do they have nowhere to go for six months?

I dread to think how they’re going to means-test Child Benefit next year. Again, the complexity of doing such a thing on a national scale is staggering, given the changing circumstances of families from month to month, let alone year to year.

The government has always pitted working mothers against stay at home mothers so it doesn’t actually have to do anything for either of them (it’s also disingenous to treat them as two discrete groups; many women are both at different times in their lives). Sarah Carey’s meanspirited column along the lines of ‘Ha ha, now you have to stay home and mind your own kids because you can’t afford the creche’ fails to take into account the fact that this Budget savages single income families even more. A family that is just about managing to have one parent in the home could be down as much as €600 a month if they lose both ECS and CB.

My solution would be, rather than giving tax relief for childcare (it disincentivises informal family arrangements and frankly, would make most creche owners I’ve encountered hike their fees they way they used to every time Child Benefit went up), to simply give tax credits for children full stop. You get an extra allowance for kids if you’re on social welfare, so why not in the tax system? The Irish tax system only allows tax relief on children if you’re unmarried. When I lived in Germany in the 90s, all parents got tax credits for children and it helped both working parents with childcare costs and stay at home parents with the loss of one income. It’s the fairest way I can think of.


Single income families currently qualify for the Home Carer’s Tax Credit (€900).


What are you talking about.

This is an excellent scheme for the children involved. Access to pre school education is a big factor in educational outcomes for children from middle and lower income families.
Not everyone can afford to send their kids to a preschool and those kids are at a disadvantage when they start primary school.


Didn’t know about this, know where I could find more info?


I used to get it then got hitched and lost about 1800…


unless you’re cohabiting by the way


It amounts to €2400 payable between 3 and 4 years old where the old scheme was €1000 a year for 6 years and even the sawn off version is €500 a year for 5.5 years ( €2750)

This is assuming you are credited the full amount by your existing creche and that there is no price gouging .


Well yes, it’s rubbish in that way. But I’m actually surprised they didn’t just axe it entirely. So instead of taking 6k off children they’re taking 3.6k off children.

I imagine the logic is that those little bstards have never voted FF anyway, so fck 'em.

I don’t think your initial fears of market distortion etc hold up, unless they restrict it to creches run by Estate Agents or something. I suppose we can’t rule that out at this stage. :wink:


maybe it has been abolished in the last few years? I’ve looked for this before an no such relief is available

disregard - just saw your last comment


It may indeed turn out to be excellent (although I can’t think of a single scheme introduced by this government that I would characterise with that adjective). My point was that the distribution of funds in favour of State-approved pre-schools privileges an official, one-size-fits all solution where many families may determine something else suits them better. Under the old system, families could apply the money as THEY saw fit; now they’ll have to apply it as the STATE sees fit. Maybe you want the minister making more decisions for your family. I sure don’t.