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The Explainer x Noteworthy: What can be done to improve childcare in Ireland?

Noteworthy’s Peter McGuire and Professor Mathias Urban tell Susan Daly about the challenges facing Ireland’s childcare system.

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PARENTS IN IRELAND face some of the most expensive childcare costs in the European Union.

Childcare costs more here than in the Nordic countries, Eastern European nations including Bulgaria and Romania, and southern European countries including Italy and Spain.

Our parental leave entitlements are among the worst in the developed world, although slightly ahead of those on offer in Switzerland and New Zealand.

Even parents who can afford childcare may not be able to find it, depending on where they live: Ireland is ranked 14th out of 41 nations surveyed in a 2020 Unicef report when it comes to accessibility of childcare options. And if they do find it, the same report could not find adequate data to be able to benchmark the quality of that childcare against the other countries surveyed.

Childcare has moved up the Government’s priority list, however, and there is growing pressure from the European Commission for Ireland, and some other countries, to do better.

This week, as a bonus episode of The Explainer brought to you by our investigative platform Noteworthy, Susan Daly chats with reporter Peter McGuire about his recent CHILDCARE CROSSROADS investigation which examined the state of Ireland’s childcare system and the funding model it operates.  Joining them is Professor Mathias Urban of the School of Language, Literacy and Early Childhood Education at Dublin City University.

The Explainer / SoundCloud


This episode was put together by presenter Susan Daly and producer Laura Byrne.

The work detailed in this episode was proposed and part-funded by readers of Noteworthy and also co-funded by Journal Media and a grant programme from the European Parliament. Any opinions or conclusions expressed in this work is the author’s own. The European Parliament has no involvement in nor responsibility for the editorial content published by the project. For more information, see here

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