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Government cuts children’s daycare rights

From next year, parents will no longer be entitled to a full-time nursery place for a child if a sibling is being looked after at home. A fee-rise is also planned in the shake-up, which is intended to save 30 million euros.

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The government has agreed to introduce new rules that will take away a child’s right to full-time state daycare if they have a sibling who is being cared for at home. Parents in this position will only be able to keep their child in nursery part-time from August 2015.

The decision was published on Thursday in the government’s Basic Public Services Programme, which sets out economic plans for central and local government for 2015-18. The cuts had previously been discussed at last month’s budget negotiation.

As part of the government’s reform of basic service provision, the subjective right to daycare will be limited to part-time only for families where one parent is at home on maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave or is in receipt of child home-care allowance.

Yle has learnt that the limiting of daycare rights may be integrated into the already existing daycare law. Staff at the Ministry of Education are understood to be worried that considerable differences of opinion over this issue could make it impossible to pass a new law in time for the start of next year. In order for the savings measures to be enacted by the beginning of 2015, parliament will have to decide on how to implement the cuts by April or May this year.

Charges for nursery places are also due to rise when the revised inflation index comes into force in August this year. Charges will be higher for those on higher incomes.

The cuts are hoped to save central government 7 million euros from 2015, and reduce local government spending by 23.7 million euros.

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