Questioning the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in the Dáil on 9 June, Bríd highlights that the private for profit model of childcare is not working. Some of the poorest people spend up to 25% of their take home income on childcare. We must look at the publicly funded model.


 About 46,000 young children have complex needs, often relating to slower development of speech and language faculties. Yet the Irish health service does not make adequate provision for early intervention.

Councillor Brid Smith from People Before Profit said,

‘We come across many parents who are worried sick by the failure of the state to provide the necessary resources for early intervention. The waiting list for speech and language therapists is so long that parents are being forced to go private – at great cost to themselves.

‘International research suggests that the case load for a speech and language therapist should lie somewhere between 30 and 65 cases.

‘In Ireland, however, the case load of Speech and Language therapists is way more than double this ratio. It amounts to an average of 162 cases per therapist.

‘Like every other aspect of our health service this under-provision helps to support a two tier system. Worried parents will tend to go private rather than wait for months and years to obtain an evaluation.

‘The cost of these private sessions amount to about €50 for a 40 minute session or €100 for an hour.

‘A decent government would have doubled the number of speech and language therapists to cut waiting lists. They would make early evaluation and intervention a priority.

‘But this government cares more about the lifestyle of bondholders and bankers. That is why they sacrifice the most vulnerable on their altar of greed.’

The Labour Party worked happily with Fine Gael for four years but has suddenly discovered that they are a party for the rich. Joan Burton has started to warn about a ‘lack of balance’ if Fine Gael started to rule alone.

In a statement Cllr Brid Smith said,Labour is acting like a second-hand dealer of dodgy cars. In 2011, they won votes on a promise that they would restrain Fine Gael. And they are trying the same trick again.But once the votes were counted after 2011 Labour dropped all talk of restraining FG and acted as their collaborator. Labour warned that Fine Gael would introduce water charges – but then voted for them.

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