Rising childcare costs draw warnings

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Rising costs of childcare which have been predicted are drawing warnings that many families will find it harder to stay in full time employment while looking after children.

The Cost of Doing Business 2019 report from the Department of Business and Enterprise shows that the net cost of childcare in Ireland is 28% of the average wage, more than twice the EU average of 12%.

The report also warned that rising labour costs carry a significant risk that childcare costs will also rise in line with them.

Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte said that with costs as high as they are already, families cannot afford any significant increase.

“I would urge the government to listen to the National Competitiveness Council’s report this morning,” Deputy Rabbitte said.

“Without action for families, soaring childcare costs will leave many families with no alternative but for one parent to stay at home or rely on wider family or grandparents for child minding”.

The report also measured the pace of cost increases with overall inflation and the growth of other services prices and found them rising in line.

The highest measured cost of childcare in Europe contained in the report was in Switzerland, while Sweden had the least expensive.