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New State childcare scheme in FF-FG plan

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Tanaiste Simon Coveney

Tanaiste Simon Coveney

Tanaiste Simon Coveney

Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are set to outline a pathway toward a State childcare system and a single-tier health service this week.

A document outlining how the two parties will govern together will commit to a "people-centred" recovery and aim to entice smaller parties to enter talks to form a coalition, sources in both parties said.

A senior Fianna Fail source said a pathway towards a State childcare scheme with a number of pilot initiatives was being discussed, along with "accelerating" Slaintecare - the plan to remove private practices from public hospitals within a decade.

Bailout

The Government has taken over private hospitals in the Covid-19 crisis and has also announced a bailout for childcare facilities - which are closed due to the virus - so parents do not have to pay creche fees.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has suggested the latter measure may not be rolled back immediately once the crisis ends and facilities reopen.

Tanaiste Simon Coveney said the crisis will mean "an increased role for the State in protecting people and their well-being, not just in terms of healthcare but also in terms of their economic interests". A Fine Gael source said the document will be "left of centre".