The Irish Independent published an article today in relation to the cost of Childcare in Ireland and the price paid by parents been €1000 a month. The article claim’s that
“Families are being hit with soaring childcare bills despite taxpayers having pumped tens of millions of extra euro into the industry over the past four years”.
The article fails to mention a number of reasons as to why the cost of childcare is increasing especially within the Dublin area where Tots & Co operate. Despite the article claiming record investments in childcare these millions are passed on to parents in small amounts through schemes such as the ECCE & CCSP schemes. The most a family without access to HSE services or Social Welfare services are entitled to through the CCSP scheme is on average €80 a month. Not a huge relief we are sure to most families paying for childcare in any service.
As a private service provider we receive no state funding to cover the costs of operating our service and no assistance from any state agency in operating our service. In fact the government at local level through Dublin City Council charge us a substantial figure in rates to provide parents with childcare services at our Barrow Street facility. For this amount Dublin City Council do not provide us with any direct services and as we found out last year when we went to apply for a parking permit for an after school car we were not even entitled to a parking permit as they class us as a commercial business. This is one area of direct costs to provider’s across the country that the government could cut giving providers a small amount extra to pass on to parents, staff and to reinvest in their services.
“Yet the sector is still gripped by a severe shortage of crèche places for babies and toddlers and pressure on the after-school care system for older children”.
The costs of commercial rents do not reduce for providers. Landlords will charge a creche provider the same as any other business that could occupy a premises. In our experience and from discussions with other operators, landlords are even more reluctant to rent space to a creche provider then an office based business which only adds to the shortage of childcare services across the city.
While the city once again undergoes a building boom of sorts the lack of planning & foresight for creche facilities and their construction within new developments of both commercial and residential properties adds to the shortage of space available. During the Celtic Tiger developers were incentivised to build creche facilities within developments however the scrapping of tax incentives a number of years ago by the Government is now coming back to bite.
We provide a quality service to families at reasonable costs while also looking after our staff who are the primary carer’s in our service for the future generations. Our staff are qualified educators who spend time training and learning to work within our sector and are expected by Government agencies such as Tusla & Pobal to meet certain educational standards to be able to look after, care & educate the children in their care. While teachers in state run schools (primary & secondary) get days off for training & staff meetings our staff stay after hours and come in at weekends for these meetings and training . We as a provider cannot shut down mid week for a day without disrupting the daily lives of the children and parents who use our service’s. .
As a service provider we do not feel that this article properly or fairly portrays the Childcare sector as whole.