Parents must learn the basics of child care, the report says, including when and where to pick up their children, and when to return them to school.
This includes having them stay with friends and family for the duration of their stay.
It also suggests parents should be careful not to put their children through any form of schoolwork, such as maths, unless they are being offered the option.
Parents must also take time off to visit family members, the group says, if they feel they are “losing sight of what is important in their lives”.
The report comes just months after the Government announced plans to introduce a “universal basic income” for all families by 2020.
In an address to the Irish Business Alliance, Minister for Education Richard Bruton said the Government was committed to making childcare compulsory for all children and families.
He said the country’s childcare costs had increased by 20 per cent in the last 12 months.
The report said there were a number of challenges to achieving universal childcare.
Some people who are not working or do not have the financial means to afford childcare have to use other means to access childcare.
In a recent case study, the child care provider that provided the care for the family, called Care for the Elderly, had to move its business to an alternative location in the capital city after the government decided to make childcare compulsory.
“It was difficult for me and my partner to make a choice between caring for my children and providing childcare,” Care for The Elderly’s CEO, Maryanne Poynton, said.
“In the end, we found that we would not be able to afford to keep our childcare arrangement going.”
The report also recommends that childcare should be provided free to all families regardless of whether they are eligible for child benefits or not.
This would help all families to meet the needs of all their children and children’s parents, it says.
The authors recommend that every family receive a monthly child benefit payment of €15, which would be paid directly into the family’s bank account, and the government should provide €1.20 per child in childcare support.
The group says the Government should consider providing €2.50 per child for childcare expenses.
The Government says it will review childcare costs next year.
The Irish Business Association said it was pleased the Government had put the childcare debate front and centre.
The union is calling on the Government to increase childcare funding and ensure there is a “fundamental shift” in the way children are cared for.
It says there are already a number the Government is taking action to improve childcare provision, but it is time for the Government and the Government of Ireland to take a new approach.
Source: Irish Times article About this child care article This article was written by Anne O’Donnell.
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