Monday, March 2, 2009

€4.5m in childcare allowance for children living abroad

The Government paid €4.5m in childcare allowances for children living outside of Ireland last year, new figures reveal.

The overseas Early Childcare Supplement payments quadrupled between 2007 and 2008 from €1.1m to €4.5m, the Department of Social and Family Affairs has confirmed.

This year, non-resident children are expected to account for €7m of the childcare payments because a massive backlog of arrears is slowly being cleared.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Social and Family Affairs said the claims relating to children residing outside of Ireland are complex because it is necessary to cross-check details with European authorities. Hence, significant backlogs and delays have occurred.

When the childcare payment was launched in 2006, it emerged that children of migrant workers who are resident in their home country were entitled to the annual €1,000 payment, even though it was designed to help spefically with childcare costs.

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