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Doing the Sums: The Real Cost of Providing Childcare Launch

The Real Cost of Providing Childcare Launch

October 4, 2016

Doing the Sums: The Real Cost of Providing Childcare Launch Videos

On Thursday, 29th September 2016, ECI launched our new report, ‘Doing the Sums: The Real Cost of Providing Childcare’. We commissioned Meehan Tully & Associates Ltd. to conduct a comprehensive national review of the viability of various childcare financial models in Ireland based on nearly 600 survey respondents from both ECI member and non-member services in both rural and urban settings operating both community based and privately owned services.


The research examined whether it is possible to operate a viable childcare service that operates within the confines of the existing funding models; supports professional development for owners, managers and staff; and provides a career pathway for those working in the sector.


The research addressed these considerations by scoping out the costs involved in running childcare services, of varying operational sizes. The report findings confirm what the sector has long known. There is a crisis in sustainability in the childcare sector with the average childcare service in Ireland, whether private or community run, urban or rural, operating on a breakeven basis. The report shows that, even when a surplus is generated by a childcare facility, it is often too little to meet the cost of re-investment in the business.


The launch was very well attended by Members of the Oireachtas, policy makers, media and ECI members, who gave an invaluable insight into the reality of sustainability for services on the ground and the difficulty services are facing in recruiting qualified staff.

Teresa Heeney CEO of Early Childhood Ireland opened the launch:


Mark Tully from Meehan Tully & Associates Ltd. outlined the major findings from the report:


The report was officially launched by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone TD, who acknowledged the need to address the trends identified in our report and for a radical new approach to childcare, which she said requires a significant and higher level of investment by Government:


Teresa Heeney concluded by summarising ECI’s key recommendations to guide Government and other policy makers, in steering the childcare sector back on the road toward achieving quality, affordable and sustainable childcare for all who avail of it.


Echoing ECI’s call for significant and focused investment in childcare in Budget 2017 were Tanya Ward, CEO, Children’s Rights Alliance; Dr Kara McGann, Senior Labour Market Policy Executive, IBEC; Patricia King, General Secretary, ICTU; John-Mark McCafferty, Head of Social Justice and Policy, SVP and Orla O’Connor, Director, NWCI.


Budget 2017

To view our Pre-Budget 2017 submission, please click here


Media Coverage of the Launch

Childcare budget focus ‘remains on low-income families’

A study of daycare providers has found it is financially unviable to provide childcare for under-3s, as the free preschool scheme is more “predictable”, offering a guaranteed income with lower staff costs.

Both Early Childhood Ireland and one of the country’s leading academic experts in early childhood care say the new childcare measures must also be available “to the squeezed middle-income earners”.

Early Childhood Ireland report to highlight cost of childcare in Ireland
The report, which will be launched on Saturday, highlights spending by the government in comparison with other countries in Europe

‘The sector is in real crisis’: New report reveals the cost of providing childcare

Early childhood education and care letter to Irish Times

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