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1 February 2016 Edition

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New childcare policy launched

• Sinn Féin's Louise O Reilly, Mary Lou McDonald TD and Councillor Kathleen Funchion at the launch of 'Better4Childcare'

“We want to give children the best start in life. By improving the quality of early childhood education to promote positive experiences and learning outcomes, we can also develop a system that is responsive to the needs of both children and parents."

LAUNCHING Sinn Féin’s “Better 4 Childcare” policy in Dublin on 22 January, deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said a Government led by her party would be better for childcare as it would set a maximum fee at €180 a week reducing to €150 incrementally.

Speaking at the launch alongside party colleagues Louise O’Reilly and Kathleen Funchion, Mary Lou said:

“We want to give children the best start in life. By improving the quality of early childhood education to promote positive experiences and learning outcomes, we can also develop a system that is responsive to the needs of both children and parents.

“Parents should feel safe in the knowledge that they will be able to return to working life and that their children will be safe within an improved childcare system. We also want to increase employment in the childcare sector itself.”

There would also be a six-week extension to maternity benefit followed by an incremental increase to 52 weeks of parental leave.

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