A spokesperson for Seas Suas, the early learning and care (ELC) body that represents independent full-day care providers in Ireland said:
“The Department has taken a very difficult decision in cancelling the proposed temporary scheme.
“We have been engaging with the Minister and her team to find solutions to some of the challenges faced, and the progress made will inform our approach to childcare provision as we move forward.
“While the focus has understandably been on providing childcare services for healthcare workers, we need to move to fully address solutions for all workers.
“The next phase of the Government’s roadmap is fast approaching and we now need to move, as a collective, to focus energies on how we can safely and sustainably re-open centre-based care.
“Without safe and sustainable childcare services in place, parents will face challenges in returning to work in all sectors. We need to avoid a situation where parents would not be in a position to return to work as they have no childcare.
“We need to provide guidance, clarity and certainty to parents to allow them to plan and to return to work and we are confident that together with the Department and the wider sector, we can reach solutions in a timely manner in the best interest of all.”