Childcare is an equality issue

Childcare is expensive.

Parents are paying up to €1,400 a month in fees, but educators still earn below the living wage and providers struggle to break even.

Everyone is getting a raw deal.

Affordability and Equality

We have the second most expensive childcare in the OECD for couples, and the most expensive for lone parent families.

The cost of returning to work after having a child is 90% of income. Women in particular are prevented from working because of the cost of childcare.

Affordable childcare is an equality issue.

So why are things so bad?

In a word, funding.

Our government spends just 0.2% of GDP on Early Childhood Education and Care compared to an OECD average of 0.7% and the UNICEF target of 1%.

The consequence is high fees and low wages.

The problem is becoming so bad that even the IMF, European Commission and the National Competitiveness Council are telling the government to increase funding on childcare.

A New Funding Model

It’s clear that the current system is broken.

We need a new funding model that substantially reduces the cost of childcare, but also delivers quality, decent jobs and financially sustainable services.

But we need to stand together to make it happen.

By joining SIPTU and building a strong union, we can make Early Years Care and Education a priority for government. By campaigning together with parents and NGOs we can win increased funding, decent wages and affordable childcare.

To meet with your local SIPTU organiser and hear more about the campaign, just email

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