Where’s the education and childcare for lone parents for sustainable jobs?

Press Release

“The best way out of poverty is a job,” says Joan Burton.

“Where’s the education and childcare for lone parents for sustainable jobs?”asks One Family

The routeway out of poverty is a job: education is the ladder.

(Dublin, Tuesday 27 January 2014) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone and sharing parenting – reacts to the RTÉ 1 Claire Byrne Show debate  with the Táiniste, Joan Burton  and President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams.  The coalition Government promised that austerity would be shared equally between rich and poor, young and old. It hasn’t turned out quite like that. 63% of one-parent family households in Ireland suffer deprivation (SILC Report 2013 published last week).

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, comments: “Despite it setting out by stating ambitious reformist intentions, under this coalition Government we now see more homelessness, poor access to quality childcare, rising child poverty and vulnerable families pushed onto the live register without supports.”

Stuart Duffin, One Family Director of Policy & Programmes, states, “July 2015 will see up to 39,000 recipients of the One-Parent Family Payment transferred to the Jobs-seekers Transition Allowance until their youngest child is 14 years old. Tánaiste Burton’s mantra is: ‘The best way out of poverty is a job’. Yet 53% of lone parents are already in the labour market and most are working poor. What’s really on offer today for the majority of people parenting alone? Low wages, insecure or zero hours contracts combined with no childcare. That will not take a one-parent family out of poverty.”

He continues: “Táiniste Burton stated last night on the RTÉ 1 Claire Byrne Show that the Job Seeker Transition payment ‘gives lone parents seven years to get into education and then into work.’  Where are these opportunities? Where are these supports? Where are the Out-of School childcare services and training programmes to support parents? We must be solution-focused. Not only do we need to understand poverty but the causes and the routeways out of poverty. Access to free part-time education is the best value approach to activation for Government. Enabling someone who has been removed from the workforce to rejoin it is about more than just assisting them with uploading their CV to an online site. If a job is the routeway out of poverty then access to education is the ladder.”

“If we don’t enable those parenting alone or sharing parenting to be included in Irish society and economy, they and their children will remain outside in deeper poverty and disadvantage into the foreseeable future, and they are voters too,” concludes Stuart.

One Family reiterates its call to Government to enact its 10 Solutions campaign, with an immediate focus on provision of affordable and accessible quality local childcare.  Every parent should have an equal opportunity to create a better future for his or her children. All families deserve an equal chance. One Family is keen to meet with Government to share its European-wide expert knowledge, and over 40 years of experience, on what works for those parenting alone and sharing parenting.


About One Family

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families offering support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those sharing parenting, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to professionals working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services. These services include the lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 62 22 12, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. One Family also promotes Family Day and presents the Family Day Festival every May, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today ( For further information, visit

Available for Interview

Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy & Programmes | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 062 2023

Further Information/Scheduling

Shirley Chance, Director of Communications | t: 01 664 0124 / e: