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Cost of childcare increases for first time in five years

The early years sector profile of each county is broken down in the Pobal report.

Image: Riopatuca via Shutterstock

THE COST OF full-time childcare has increased by more than €7 to €174.16 according to the Early Years Sector Profile Report.

The report, which was developed and published by Pobal, states that nationally, the cost of a full-time childcare place has increased after five years of fees remaining the same.

In total there are estimated to be over 186,000 children attending early years services across Ireland. Fees are more expensive in affluent areas, in cities, and in private facilities.

The report also gives a breakdown of the early years sector profile in each county across the country.

Breakdown Source: Early Years Sector Profile via Pobal

The number of children availing of government-funded childcare places increased by 41% to over 147,000 in the last 12 months.

Qualifications 

The childcare sector employs over 27,000 staff, almost 24,000 of whom work with children.

The report also found that the average qualification level of childcare staff has increased.

Half of all childcare staff work part-time, while two in five work seasonal contracts. On average, childcare staff earn €11.93 per hour; half of these consisting of early years assistants earning an average of €10.88 per hour. The staff turnover rate in the last 12 months was 28.2%.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone thanked Pobal for their work. “This report adds to the growing body of evidence needed to target increased investment in early years.

It provides insights on other important policy priorities, like affordability, sustainability and quality, and will be critical in guiding this rapidly expanding sector in future years.

Denis Leamy, Pobal CEO added, “The Early Years Sector Profile, which Pobal has published for the last 15 years, is a definitive source of accurate and factual information on the sector and I would like to thank the childcare services that gave their time to respond to the survey.”

The report is based on survey responses from 3,707 services (84% of all childcare facilities) in May 2017 and information from the childcare ICT system (PIP).

Read: Doctors in Irish hospitals sharing sensitive patient data on Whatsapp>

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