Dáil debates

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Ceisteanna - Questions

Cabinet Committees

1:52 pm

Photo of Donnchadh Ó LaoghaireDonnchadh Ó Laoghaire (Cork South Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

In the last few weeks, I have been contacted by scores of parents who cannot find a childcare place in Cork, and it is one of the biggest issues coming into my constituency office and across the State. When I contacted Tusla to try to get a scope of the issue, it was no wonder parents were finding it difficult. The agency told me 73 childcare services had closed in the past five years in Cork city and county and that there are 384 fewer childcare places in the city than five years ago. When families do find a place in a crèche, they face fees of €800, or often more than €1,000, for just one child, while for two or three children the figure will be well in excess of that. Meeting these costs is a huge weight on families' backs that is holding back parents and predominantly women in their careers. The childcare sector in Cork is haemorrhaging highly qualified childcare professionals because they have been treated so badly by successive Governments, working for little more than the minimum wage.

The Taoiseach's Government needs to address this issue urgently to upscale the supply of affordable childcare.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.