Statistics published by the Organisation for Economic and Development Cooperation (OECD) indicate that childcare costs for families with two young children where both parents are working amount to 35 per cent of the family’s net income or in the case of a lone parent it can amount to 40 per cent of net income.1 Eurostat has found that childcare fees in Ireland are amongst the most expensive in the European Union.2 Annual fees for crèche range from €8500 to more than €15,000 for a single child depending on where the family lives.3 Furthermore, the difference in the employment rate between women with and without children was almost 30 per cent higher for those without children whereas the employment rate of men with children remains more or less consistent regardless of whether or not they have children.4The lack of affordable formal childcare arrangements is one of the principal reasons that women with young children are likely to work fewer hours or not at all.5
FLAC urges the Committee to recommend that the State:
Put in place a high quality and affordable system of early childcare services.
1 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2014) Benefits and Wages Statistics available online at http://bit.ly/OECDBenefitsWages [accessed 14 July 2014]. For an accessible summary of the statistics see Start Strong (2014) Policy Brief – The Double Dividend: Childcare that’s affordable and quality, Dublin: Start Strong, p.2.
2 European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice/Eurostat (2014) Key Data on Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe:2014 Edition. Eurydice and Eurostat Report, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
3 A. Sheehan, B. Heffernan & P. Melia, ‘Crippling cost of childcare forces mums to give up jobs’, Irish Independent, 25 May 2013.
5 European Commission (2012) Report on Progress on equality between women and men in 2012, Brussels: European Commission, p.11.
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