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Have you faced difficulties finding childcare for your young child? We want to hear your story

We want to piece together the picture of what finding childcare looks like in Ireland – here’s how you can take part.

AROUND 60,000 NEW babies are born in Ireland every year, and a major question for parents returning to work is how to find appropriate childcare.

It’s far from plain sailing – parents need somewhere or someone in their area that has availability, that they can afford, and where they’ll feel confident entrusting the care of their child.

The tricky path to finding childcare, especially for a very young child, is uncharted waters for new parents with little guidance to turn to and an additional pressure for parents with more than one child to secure a place for.

The Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE) provides childcare for children from the age of two years and eight months, but parents have found that pinning down a place for a younger baby is particularly challenging. 

On RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland this morning, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland Teresa Heeney said that a lack of childcare places is putting a “huge stress” on parents.

She said that the next budget needs to focus on creating childcare places for young children under the age of three.

Writing for The JournalLiz Carolan, a working parent currently on maternity leave, outlined that when she started looking for childcare places while she was pregnant, she found out that formal childcare for small babies in Dublin is essentially a “fiction”.

“Every year, 60,000 babies are born into a country with zero plan for how their parents can transition to work,” she said.

Have you faced a similar challenge finding care for your child, especially in the early years of their life?

Reach out and let us know your story. You might be thinking about: 

  • How difficult or easy are you finding it, or did you find it, to secure childcare for your child?
  • How old were they when you started looking or put their name on a waiting list?
  • Did the pandemic make it more challenging?
  • Are you expecting a child and concerned about future childcare?
  • Is the cost of childcare a financial strain? 
  • Was returning to work made more difficult because of trouble with childcare?
  • Did you need to ask family members for help because of a lack of, or problems with, another option?
  • Are you a childcare provider with insight into the sector?

We’ll share the stories in a future article. Please include your name, your child or children’s age(s) and which county you live in in an email along with your story. 

Please tell us if you wish to remain anonymous or use your first name only in the piece.

To share your story, please send 250-300 words (or more if you like) to with the subject line ‘Childcare’.

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