Sinn Féin TD John Brady has called on fellow TDs to stand up for parents and help alleviate their cost of childcare burden.
According to a survey from Excel Recruitment this year, 58% of couples with children have reported that one of them has had to give up work in order to care for their children due to the cost of childcare, with mothers being the most likely to exit the workforce.
According to their findings, the cost of childcare in Ireland is often higher than in other European countries, with Ireland being the third most expensive for childcare in all of Europe.
Speaking during a Dáil motion on the issue of childcare costs, Mr. Brady said that Sinn Féin are calling on the government to ease the pressure on struggling families by cutting the cost of childcare by two thirds from 2022 levels.
Mr. Brady said “Childcare fees are still far too high. Paying the equivalent of a second mortgage on childcare in the middle of a cost of living crisis with record energy costs and housing costs, is pushing many families to the brink. The government can and must act to ease the burden on parents, and I am calling on TDs in Wicklow to stand up for struggling households.
“The rising cost of living is making childcare a luxury rather than an economic necessity. Parents cannot avail of affordable childcare, and this is forcing women in particular, from entering the workforce and further education.
“Parents need affordable, local and high-quality childcare – and they need it now. They were promised that fees would decrease by 25% in budget 2024, and the government must keep its word. The reality is the 25% decrease in fees in budget 2023, while welcome, only slightly eased the financial burden on parents, given that many families continue to pay sky-high childcare fees.
“Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion, is calling for the government to give families a break by cutting the cost of childcare by two thirds from 2022 levels, and to allocate additional funding to provide fair pay for professionals working in the sector.
“I am urging the government, and TDs from all parties in Wicklow, to support our motion this week, and to make childcare genuinely affordable for working families.”