A new proposal being pushed by two Fine Gael TDs would see parents receive a tax credit for employing garda-vetted child minders
to care for their children in the home. Nothing is proposed for stay-at-home parents. A recent opinion poll in the Irish Daily Mail showed that two-thirds of voters believe the Government should give stay-at-home mothers at least the same financial support as parents who go out to work. The proposed scheme is being championed by Fine Gael TDs Kate O’Connell and Maria Bailey. They claim it would allow more parents to reenter the workforce. it is the first scheme to target childcare outside of institutional creche settings. According to the proposals, the childminder would have to be formally employed by the parents
of the child and would receive the benefits of a worker
, including minimum wage and PRSI contributions, instead of informal arrangements such as ‘cash in hand’. The proposals however include nothing for parents who forego employment in order to care for their children at home, or for informal arrangements involving grandparents or neighbours.