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Open thread: How should Ireland deal with high childcare costs?

An Irish Independent survey finds that the costs of having one child in daytime care is often higher than a mortgage.

Image: amcdawes via Flickr

A SURVEY published this morning has found that childcare costs now account for the largest monthly expenses for many families – proving even more expensive than the costs of paying a mortgage.

The survey carried out by the Irish Independent found that families were paying up to €1,100 per month for daytime care of one child – with costs hitting €2,000 or more if a second child needs looking after.

The average monthly mortgage repayment for families of child-bearing age was around €913, according to the Independent’s survey.

Earlier this year, the ESRI withdrew a working paper from economist Richard Tol which had suggested that as many as 44 per cent of parents would be better off on the dole than working, with childcare costs often making up about 30 per cent of a parent’s income.

That working paper found that the cost of working in Ireland was around €9,000 per year for a family with children – costs which were supplemented by transport costs and the need to buy meals.

The paper was withdrawn, with the ESRI describing it as a “work-in-progress document”. The paper appeared to contradict other ESRI research suggesting that only three per cent of people would be better off on welfare than working.

This morning we’re throwing the door open to you to ask about your experiences of childcare costs in Ireland.

Do you, or someone you know, believe you’d be better off staying at home to mind your children than pay someone else to do it? And what options should there be for parents who want to find work, but who’ll struggle to find affordable childcare if they do?

Let us know your thoughts.

Column: The Dept of Finance is either unable – or unwilling – to fix childcare

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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