Commenting on today’s (4 September 2018) ESRI report on childcare costs, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said,
“The analysis in today’s ESRI report clearly outlines what we have been hearing from the Chamber Network for some time now; that high childcare costs are directly impacting upon women in the workplace, contributing to lower rates of employment and contributing significantly to the high cost of living in Ireland.
In Chambers Ireland’s Pre Budget 2019 Submission, we have called on Government to prioritise sustained, value-for-money investment in the provision of childcare and early childhood education.
Among our recommendations, we have asked Government to deliver the prompt roll out of the Affordable Childcare Scheme, increase funding for childcare services and conduct a value-for-money cost analysis on the delivery of childcare provision to ensure that further investment contributes to making childcare more affordable for parents.
We have also recommended that Government maximise the use of schools and existing state infrastructure to provide school-age childcare where such demand exists.
Budget 2019 must ensure that investment in the provision of childcare is a priority so that costs are reduced for parents and barriers to employment are removed for women seeking to enter, re-enter or indeed, simply remain, in the workplace.
Through such investment, families will benefit from a reduction in the cost of living, while the gender pay-gap and female labour market participation will change for the better.
As we come closer to reaching full employment, boosting labour market participation will be crucial if we are to retain our economic competitiveness.”