'Granny grant' could be extended to other family members who mind children

'Granny grant' could be extended to other family members who mind children

A STATE grant set up for grandparents who look after their grandchildren may be extended to other family members.

The €1,000 State grant is issued to grandparents who provide childcare for their grandchildren while their parents are working.

Yesterday, Transport Minister Shane Ross insisted the controversial payment could be extended to aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers who provide the service of free childcare.

He also said that the grant would be available to a child’s four grandparents if they all provided more than 10 hours childcare a week for the same grandchildren.

The proposal put forward by Mr Ross could result in the State paying out €4,000 per child.

The Independent Alliance has called for the proposal to be included in this year’s Budget.

There was quite a bit of opposition from other politicians, some of which openly criticised the grant.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said there were “really big questions” with regard to how the payment would work.

“If you think of all the other members of family, and friends, who also perform duties looking after young children and do so on a voluntary basis, I think they would be asking me in particular – what about them?” Mr Donohue said.

Other ministers, particularly those within Fine Gael, were much more private in their criticism of the Mr Ross’ proposal. One minister, who cannot be named described it as a “load of s***e”.