Day 8: Election focus on childcare, support for business and workers' rights

Crime continues to dominate the campaign

Newstalk, Election campaign, childcare, support for business, workers' rights, Early Childhood Education Ireland, politicians, candidates, GE16

People Before Profit candidate for the Dun Laoghaire constituency Richard Boyd Barrett TD, left, talking to Nessa Bryan Hudson while canvassing for GE16. Photo: RollingNews.ie

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin is insisting his party will not go in to government with Fine Gael.

He was reacting to newspaper reports that suggest it is still a possibility after the general election.

Last week, Limerick Fianna Fail TD Willie O'Dea said his party could support Fine Gael policies without actually being in government with them.

Speaking at the IFA HQ in Dublin this morning, Mr Martin said Fianna Fail is not in the business of propping up Enda Kenny.

Meanwhile, Labour have pledged to make the maximum cost of childcare just €80 a week by 2021.

They have launched their childcare policy, which would reduce the childcare cost to €2 an hour in the lifetime of the next government.

This would be done in stages - with costs being capped at €170 a week by 2017.

Labour say they also plan to increase paid parental leave by three months, which would be split between both parents.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail, day 8 of the general election campaign has seen party leaders continue to criss-cross the country.

The Social Democrats took to a whiskey museum in Dublin to launch their proposals to back business.

Meanwhile, The Green Party will launch their transport policies in the Capital.

Sinn Féin's focus is on workers rights, while Gerry Adams campaigns in Mayo and Roscommon.

And Fine Gael will focus on a plan for the elderly, as Enda Kenny campaigns in Sligo/Leitrim, Roscommon/Galway and Mayo.

Parents are being encouraged to ask election candidates about their plans for childcare.

Early Childhood Ireland is launching a campaign aimed at lowering costs for families and paying professional wages to those who work in the sector.

CEO Teresa Heeney outlines what they want parents to ask: