‘Stark and shocking’ – Kilkenny TD publishes childcare survey results
A Kilkenny TD has described the results of a childcare survey she carried out as “stark” and “shocking”.
Deputy Kathleen Funchion, who is Sinn Fein’s spokesperson on children, said her survey – ‘My Childcare Story: In their own words- families tell of the financial burden of high childcare fees’ – also exposes an “unfair financial burden on families”.
The Kilkenny TD said childcare fees are far too high and the system is failing families across Ireland.
Deputy Funchion said: “I invited families across Ireland to share their stories of accessing childcare. Over 300 people took part and hundreds left comments outlining their own experiences. This level of interest shows there is a huge appetite for change on this issue.
“The results are stark and shocking. Almost 80% of people said childcare fees are too high. 73% have had issues securing a space for their child.
“Almost 90% of women said they felt childcare costs have been a barrier to them returning to the workforce.
“Many workers in the sector also shared their experiences of the low wages they receive and how this means they struggle to get by financially day-to-day.
“It’s clear that the current system simply isn’t working. Fees for families are far too high and wages for staff are far too low.”
Deputy Funchion said her survey “shows the clear need for change”.
The Kilkenny TD added: “Government inaction is not good enough. The sector must be reformed.
“I have previously set out how Sinn Féin would introduce a model to reduce childcare fees by one third within a year, while also ensuring staff receive the living wage.
“We must ensure that no family, especially women, have to choose between employment or childcare. We must listen to families and ensure their needs are met.”