Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea is encouraging further efforts to tackle childcare fees across County Cork, following the publication on the cost of early learning and care and school-age childcare to families in Ireland.
The data was published by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone TD, and is drawn from almost 4,000 early learning and care and school-age childcare services located around the country.
The information reveals that the average fee for full-time provision now stands at €184 per week – an increase of 3.6% since last year. In County Cork, the average weekly full-time fee is €198, while the average weekly part-time fee is €121.
Nationally, the lowest full-time fees, for children 2-3 years old, were recorded in Co. Carlow at €148 per week, with the highest full-time fees recorded in Dublin (Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown), at €251 per week for children.
Speaking about the data being published, Cllr. O’Shea said: “A key priority for me is to see a reduction in the cost of high-quality childcare for parents and to bring it into line with EU norms. The reality is that the cost to families of early learning and care and school-age childcare remains higher in Ireland that in other OECD countries, despite record investment – a 117% increase in investment over the past four consecutive Budgets.
“The introduction of the National Childcare Scheme will add to the supports provided to parents over the past four years with targeted subsidies, and will help alleviate the burden on parents further.
“I also welcome this Government’s pledge, set out in the First 5 Strategy, to at least double the investment in early learning and care and school-age childcare by 2028. More still needs to be done, and I will be working alongside Minister Zappone to ensure that high-quality childcare becomes more affordable for families.