Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2524)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

2524. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the value of childcare fees paid in 2017 and 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31611/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Each year Pobal conducts research on behalf of my Department to examine a number of factors related to childcare services in Ireland, including the monitoring of fees. The latest Early Years Sector Profile report, which was published in November 2018 and is available on the Pobal website, relates to the 2017/2018 programme year.

In 2017/18, the average weekly fee, per child, for full day care was €177.92. The average weekly fee for part-time childcare was €101.82 and for sessional care it was €68.95. The average weekly childcare fee for full day care increased by €3.76 or 2.2% since 2016/17. The largest increase, year-on-year and over time, was observed for part-time fees, which increased by 3.3% since 16/17 and by over 6% since 2012.

The fees charged by services vary depending on location. Generally, services located in urban areas and in counties on the East coast charge higher fees, while those in rural areas and counties in the Midland, Western and Border regions tend to have lower fees. Table 6.2 provides a county level breakdown of fees by childcare type. As with 16/17, the highest fees were reported in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, where the average weekly fee for full day care was €233.26. This is €55.34 or 31% above the national average.

The majority of counties with higher fees also have more children on waiting lists. This would indicate that higher demand for places is likely to lead to price increases. The lowest average fee for full day care was reported in Longford, at €146.56, which is €31.36 or 18% below the national average. The difference between the highest and lowest fees at county level was €86.70 for full day care; €52.45 for part-time care and €26.34 for sessional care. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown is the most expensive county for all three types of childcare, while Leitrim is the least expensive for part-time childcare and Donegal is the cheapest county for sessional care.

It is worth noting that while there are large differences between average fees between counties, the fees charged by services within counties also vary. For example, the lowest fee reported by a service in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown was €150, while the highest was €308.

Table 6.2 Average weekly fee by county (full day care, part-time and sessional childcare)

County

Full day care

Part-time care

Sessional

Dublin – Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

€233.26

€127.45

€86.26

Cork City

€206.67

€104.27

€68.68

Dublin – Fingal

€206.25

€115.23

€71.44

Dublin – South Dublin

€202.25

€116.92

€72.17

Wicklow

€200.21

€102.47

€71.77

Dublin – Dublin City

€195.79

€115.71

€71.90

Cork County

€192.37

€108.57

€71.06

Meath

€183.52

€100.68

€68.80

Kildare

€181.39

€113.42

€73.59

Kerry

€172.17

€90.24

€62.01

Louth

€172.12

€101.05

€68.69

Westmeath

€167.97

€90.50

€69.45

Donegal

€167.22

€100.98

€59.92

Wexford

€166.34

€97.30

€67.69

Laois

€164.46

€103.04

€66.85

Offaly

€162.00

€102.33

€68.01

Kilkenny

€159.87

€88.61

€66.46

Galway

€159.44

€96.29

€67.33

Limerick

€159.00

€90.12

€67.98

Clare

€157.72

€90.54

€67.50

Waterford

€157.24

€88.94

€61.55

Cavan

€156.94

€91.13

€63.21

Leitrim

€156.54

€75.00

€62.14

Mayo

€156.40

€85.04

€64.26

Tipperary

€155.08

€92.02

€67.33

Sligo

€153.48

€98.47

€74.11

Roscommon

€151.00

€85.55

€63.69

Carlow

€149.53

€84.29

€70.02

Monaghan

€147.97

€80.12

€64.35

Longford

€146.56

€88.68

€63.31

Total

€177.92

€101.82

€68.95

A detailed analysis of childcare fees can be found in chapter 6 of the Pobal Early Years Sector Profile Report 17/18, available at the below link:

https://www.pobal.ie/app/uploads/2018/11/Early-Years-Sector-Profile-Report-2017-2018.pdf.