Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

07.17 27 Sep 2019


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Parents are now paying an average of €184 per week for full-time childcare, according to new data published by the Government.

The costs are up 3.6% compared to last year.

The average cost of part-time childcare, meanwhile, is now at €110 - up 8%.

According to the figures, there are significant differences in fees in different parts of the country.

The lowest full-time childcare fees was in Co Carlow, at €148 for 2-3 year-old children.

In contrast, the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area of Dublin had the highest fees at €251 per week for the same age group.

Image via Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Responding to the data, Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has urged parents to take advantage of the new National Childcare Scheme, which will offer some families subsidies of up to €145 per child per week.

However, she acknowledged more needs to be done - and she wants to bring costs in line with EU norms.

She observed: "The cost to families of early learning and care and school-age childcare remains higher in Ireland than in other OECD countries - with wide variation in fees across the country."

"As Minister I want to see improvements in terms of affordability for parents and the quality of service offered to children.

"This is highly dependent on a valued workforce. As part of its work, the Funding Model Expert Group will explore mechanisms to control the fees charged to parents, recognising that at present my Department has limited powers to do this."

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Liam McBurney/PA Archive/PA Images

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