BY JACKIE KEOGH
MICHAEL McCarthy TD is urging parents in West Cork to make their views known on how to reform the childcare system as part of a new Labour Party campaign.
In a YouTube video targeted at local parents in West Cork, Deputy McCarthy – a parent of four young children – is asking local parents to partake in a short online questionnaire and submit their thoughts on a range of issues, from cost to quality of care.
Deputy McCarthy is one of four Labour TDs recently selected by Joan Burton to sit on the party’s new working group on Childcare, which has been tasked with looking into the issue.
The video and working group are elements of Labour’s new ‘Let’s Talk About Childcare’ campaign launched this week. The multimedia campaign wants to hear from parents who have young children and use childcare facilities. It says feedback will go on to shape the party’s 2016 general election manifesto.
McCarthy said: ‘Childcare is a huge issue for parents in Cork South-West and one which comes up regularly on the doors when out canvassing. It is evident that the current childcare situation in Ireland is not working to facilitate parents, particularly mothers to combine work and family life, and we in Labour are working hard to reform it.
‘As part of this new campaign, I would like local parents who have young children and use childcare resources regularly to log onto labour.ie/childcare and fill out our short questionnaire. I will be paying close attention to the views that come back to us as part of my work with the new working group.
‘We want to hear from parents about their childcare arrangements, what works and what doesn’t, and more importantly, how things could be made easier for them.
‘It is clear that we have to do more when it comes to supporting families raise their children,’ he added.
‘In view of this, I would strongly urge parents in Cork South West to participate in our simple questionnaire and play their part in helping to ensure that our children are provided with the best quality childcare.’