Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone (above) is answering questions from the Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs.
It follows Elaine Dunne, of the Federation of Early Childcare Providers, telling RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning that many childcare providers were in immediate danger of closing due to insurance costs.
Ms Zappone said she has approved a “once-off Programme Support Payment” of an average of €1,500 to providers, costing a total of around €7million.
She said the payment will be made by December 28, 2019.
Ms Zappone said the recent insurance hikes follow the recent withdrawal of an insurance provider from the Irish market, Ironshore Europe, and confirmation that another could not be found.
The minister said, until recently, there were two insurance providers underwriting childcare providers and now there is only one: Allianz Ireland.
Ms Zappone said she acknowledges the situation is “undoubtedly” causing stress to childcare providers and worry for parents.
Watch the meeting live in the video link above or here