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Childcare costs leave parents struggling to pay household bills

A survey has shown that costs are also preventing many parents from taking up employment.

Image: Baby bottle in office image via Shutterstock

PARENTS IN IRELAND are struggling to pay their household bills because of the high cost of childcare and afterschool care, according to a new survey.

The survey conducted by Barnardos, the National Women’s Council of Ireland, OPEN and Start Strong showed that the costs are stopping many parents from going on holidays or getting treats for their children. Others said that the expense of childcare is actually preventing them from taking up employment or moving from part-time to full-time work.

The organisations are calling on the government to prioritise the development of “quality, subsidised childcare and afterschool care for all children” to support their development and remove barriers to work for parents.

They recommended the implementation of the Scandanavian model which integrates care and education and offers options for parents in terms of their ability to pay and whether they want to take parental leave or avail of centre-based childminding services.

The groups said childhood is the most important period in an individual’s life and that giving children “the strongest foundation possible creates enormous potential for them and our society”.

Read: Gender gap: Irish women pay ‘high price’ for motherhood>
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