#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 30 November 2021

Parents Panel: How do you manage childcare for your kids?

The drop-offs, the pick-ups… and the fee negotiations.


AS PART OF TheJournal.ie’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. With that in mind, we’ve launched TheJournal.ie Parents Panel.

This week, we’re asking our panel about creches, minders and stay-at-home parenting: How do you manage childcare for your kids?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7

Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly.

I’m a stay-at-home mum
I have always been at home with the kids. My husband worked two jobs at times to facilitate that arrangement, and would be gone from early in the morning until nine or ten at night. It hasn’t always been easy but we strongly believe that wherever possible, children are better off in their own environment with a parent. My heart goes out to parents who don’t have that choice.

- Susannah O’Brien

Our creche fees were twice the price of our mortgage
Both of us work and at one point our creche fees were twice the cost of our mortgage. Over the course of the 11 years we used the creche for, we became quite adept at negotiating aggressive and favourable prices, which saved us a fortune.

- Alan Dooley

I chose a Polish minder to give my son exposure to my language
My son has been with a Polish minder since he was 11 months old. I’m Polish, but as we live in Ireland, English will always be Tymek’s first language, so I have to make an effort if I want him to know my mother tongue as well. The minder looks after two other girls so there’s a mix of English and Polish spoken.

- Marta Lisiecka

image1 Source: Ross Boxshall

I’m a stay-at-home dad
In 2011, I chose to stop my career and stay at home with the kids full-time. The primary benefit is that our four children always have either myself or my wife around. Plus, my wife works shifts and spends periods of time on call, so it would have been a nightmare to arrange childcare around her working hours. We’ve had to forego the material luxuries but I love getting to see every little aspect of them growing up.

- Ross Boxshall

My son had a bad experience with the childminder
My two older children had a very negative experience with their childminder. The third, now two, has been in playschool since September the government’s new affordable childcare scheme and she loves it. She is getting to mix with children her own age and her speech has really come on.

- Denise Cumiskey

The mornings are a balancing act
The free government creche hours mean my three-year-old can be in creche for longer every day while his older brother is in school. Without those I’d be going to and from the school and creche six times every day! The mornings are a balancing act with the drop-offs but we have reached a really good medium.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

 - Suzie Kelly

shutterstock_713642749 Source: Shutterstock/NadyaEugene

Our son is the ‘official creche greeter’ 
Our little guy is in creche full time and absolutely loves it. He will be the first to say hello to anyone who comes into the room, almost like welcoming them to his personal domain! There are still times where he wants to do a prolonged goodbye though, so I’ll sit with him for 15 minutes. At the start I really found the whole idea of him being in creche all day very hard, but he is so happy there.

- Olly Keegan

Our parents can’t help out, but I prefer it that way
Our childminder minds our two kids in our home. Neither my mother nor my husband’s mother is alive and our fathers aren’t able for childminding, but even if they were I think I’d prefer to keep the childminding arrangement separate to preserve relationships all round.

- Denise

My wife did the daytimes and I did the evenings
When the kids were small,  Karen and I worked at different ends of the day. I’d be in work from 9-5 and she would work the evenings from 6pm, so there was no crossover. These days, Karen is a full-time carer to our son Nathan, who has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, so she is at home all day.

 - Ken Hyland

Want to win a luxury getaway to The Lodge at Ashford Castle, on the estate that’s hosted Grace Kelly and Brad Pitt? Enter here – and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

About the author:

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel