Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 17/02/2015. Tags: Parenting
A planned protest is to take place this afternoon by early childcare workers over demands in pay, but parents say they cannot afford increases in childcare and are turning to cheaper alternatives such as au-pairs and nannies. Both sides are calling for government subsidies.
Creche workers in Ireland are on low wages and are looking for increases in pay and more government investment to promote sustainability and attract qualified people to the sector. However, parents say they cannot afford childcare costs and as a result are resorting to cheaper alternatives. Both sides agree that the government need to take action.
While speaking on RTE's Claire Byrne Live last night, Health Minister Leo Varadkar didn't rule out the possibility of tax breaks for working parents related to the cost of childcare but did warn that the result cold be an increase in overall costs in the sector
Parents in Ireland pay the highest childhood costs in Europe, yet wages for child care workers are significantly low. A statement from Early Childhood Ireland
CEO Teresa Heaney say the problems in the sector are down to lack of government investment.
According to Heaney, “Just 0.2% of GDP is invested in early childhood education by the Irish Government – in most European countries that is 0.7% up to 1%.”
“The full costs are borne by parents after tax income. Irish parents are paying 100% apart from the free preschool year.”The Irish Independent
reported today that working families need to be earning €30,000 to cover the créche costs of just two children giving the example of costs of up to €1,150 a month for a creche place for a baby and €2,035 per month for a baby and toddler.
‘However, speaking about the low wages of childcare workers, Heeney added, “There simply isn’t enough money to reward workers with professional wages and salaries in the sector.”Parents turning to Au Pairs
As are result of high childcare costs, parents are turning to au pairs and live-in nannies to save money on expensive childcare costs
. The price of an pair is around 80-150 euros per week compared to creche costs that average 170/180 euros per week.
Follow today’s march on Early Childhood Ireland Twitter feed
Schooldays.ie provides forums and information for parents and childminders and Aupairs regarding private childcare
in Ireland. Please visit our section for more