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Childcare costs differ by 50 per cent in parts of the country

Costs can vary from region to region with Dublin being particularly expensive according to the National Consumer Agency

Childcare costs can differ from region to region
Childcare costs can differ from region to region
Image: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Update 1.35pm

RESEARCH BY THE National Consumer Agency (NCA) has found that there are big discrepancies in childcare costs across Ireland.

The NCA reports that the average price across all regions of the country for full time care for a six month old baby was €191 per week but costs can go as high as €268 per week in Central Dublin.

Children’s charity Barnardo’s responded to the findings by calling on the government to develop a 10 year plan for the provision of childcare in Ireland. Their director of advocacy Norah Gibbons told TheJournal.ie:

A lot of state money has gone into childcare but we need more joined up thinking from the government with a co-ordinated plan that involves parents, providers, the voluntary and community sector, and the government themselves.

The report also found that on average prices ranged from €233 in Swords, Dublin compared to €155 in Waterford and Sligo, which is a difference of 50 per cent.

The NCA stated that 60 per cent of childcare providers indicated that they currently had availability, which a spokesperson told TheJournal.ie was probably a result of the economic downturn.

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Other findings included that 90 per cent of creches offered a discount for two children attending the same creche which worked out on average as a 7 per cent discount. The spokesperson for the NCA added :

The biggest advice is obviously check and shop around for prices.  The NCA recognises that cost isn’t going to be your only criteria when looking at childcare but it is a big consideration right now with the downturn.

Talk to the creche about working out a deal. The big message is always ask.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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