If there’s one thing that’s incredibly important to the team here at MummyPages, it’s making sure that mums’ voices are heard. We’re constantly looking for your insights into parenting in Ireland and we take everything on board in the hope that we can help and provide support.
So when the Irish government called for suggestions on investment in early years and school-age care and education, we made sure the hundreds-of-thousands of mums in our community, as well as their children, were represented.
We submitted a report to government officials highlighting the issues that are important to Irish mums, based on all the survey results and feedback we’ve gotten from our readers in recent times.
The subject of affordable, quality childcare and education is one that our MummyPages mums are passionate about with 2,418 mums participating in our childcare survey – the country’s largest ever survey on the childcare crisis facing the Republic of Ireland.
The solutions proposed by mums are not only practical and achievable, but if led by government investment and done so in partnership with the childcare sector, primary schools and employers, meaningful change could take place.
When it comes to the current state of childcare in Ireland:
- 94% of mums say private childcare is too expensive
- 89% of mums think that private childcare should be subsidised by the government
- 93% of parents think the government should provide a subsidy to all schools running after-primary-school care programmes to make childcare more affordable for working parents
- 84% of working parents struggle to budget for their children’s childcare costs
The lack of affordable childcare is impacting the careers of parents all around the country. 77% of stay-at-home and part-time parents say they would return to the workplace full-time if childcare was more affordable. Interestingly, 69% of employed and self-employed parents say the high cost of childcare impacted their decision to change career or seek part-time work.
When it comes to how working parents are coping in the workplace, the outlook isn’t great and MummyPages mums feel the situation could be improved drastically by government intervention. For example:
- 88% of parents think that large employers of 200+ staff should be government funded to provide onsite subsidised childcare facilities for working parents
- 100% of parents think employers should be supported by the government to facilitate flexible employment arrangements to support mums returning to the workplace after maternity leave
- 89% of parents think the government should introduce a second free pre-school year.
82% of stay-at-home parents say free preschool year greatly benefitted them and their child by offering social and independent learning opportunities while also easing the transition to primary school, proving that government involvement has the potential to greatly improve the lives of parents in Ireland.
Commenting on our submission to government officials, MummyPages’ Mum-in-Residence Laura Haugh says: “Our mums not only want to have their say, they want to be heard and they want real action. This is why the online MummyPages.ie community conducted our own independent research with our vast national community. We didn’t want to be overshadowed by another body or industry agenda, we didn’t want our mums’ voices to dull to a whisper and die in a Government vacuum – we want to be taken seriously. The ‘Childcare Crisis’ should not be used to win votes.”