State childcare system would cut childcare costs by two thirds


TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that our current model childcare is not fit for purpose as it manages to have fees that are far too high and wages that are far too low. Teachta Crowe was speaking on a Sinn Féin motion calling on the Government to move to establish a state childcare system that would cut childcare costs by two thirds in the long term and transform the childcare system into a viable career path for its qualified staff who currently work for very low wages.
Speaking in the Dáil recently, Teachta Crowe said: “There is common agreement that our childcare system is not fit for purpose. Fees are too high and wages are too low. Childcare in my constituency costs, on average, €217 per week or €870 per month, but costs can be higher or lower in one part of the constituency as compared with another. As stated, childcare costs are equal to that of a mortgage.
“This motion is about giving families a break. Childcare fees for parents in this State are among the highest in the world. However, early years workers, who are highly qualified professionals with degrees, are paid some of the lowest wages of any sector, with many working on or just above the minimum wage. Some parents cannot even find a childcare place for their children. Centres across the State are full to capacity because of a lack of staff or crippling costs. Many parents rely on grandparents. This is probably not ideal, but increasingly it is the Irish solution. Grandparents do not retire. They are expected to keep giving.
“Childcare needs to be dealt with comprehensively, not in a piecemeal manner. The collapse of the Government’s childcare scheme for front-line workers during Covid was entirely predictable and inevitable. The Government did not seem to realise that a press release from a Minister is not a magic wand that can mend fundamental problems in service delivery. Clapping and goodwill speeches wear thin when you are working long hours and putting your health and life on the line. We need a State childcare system. The market has shown that it is incapable of providing a service that is either affordable to parents or fair to workers.
“Sinn Féin’s plan would reduce childcare fees for parents by at least one third of the current cost for this year and next year and by two thirds the following year. Sinn Féin has long advocated for a publicly funded childcare sector that works for families, early years professionals and providers. Sinn Féin in government would ensure all children and their families have access to good quality and affordable childcare.”

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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