Parents told to prepare for two-year-long creche waiting lists
Have you been affected by the childcare shortage?
Parents have been told to expect two-year-long waiting lists for creche places in parts of Ireland.
There is currently a shortage of creche places in Ireland which is leaving many parents struggling to find childcare near their homes.
According to The Independent, there is a higher demand for creche places after the latest baby boom.
There was an increase in babies being born in Ireland following the Covid-19 pandemic. This means more parents are now looking for childcare, but there are not enough places to meet the growing demand.
As well as the baby boom, creches are also closing their doors due to a lack of staff. They're also being forced to close due to the ongoing cost of living crisis. Many facilities are struggling to make ends meet and are being forced to close their doors.
Speaking to The Independent, the director of Childhood Services Ireland, Darragh Whelan said the waiting lists are extortionate.
“There are waiting lists of 24 months in some urban centres because of the scarcity,” he shared.
Whelan added that parents are under a great deal of pressure to find suitable childcare.
Some are being forced to rely on family members, and others are looking at facilities far away from their homes.
"It sounds ridiculous but it’s unfortunately true," Whelan added.
"Prospective parents would have to get on a waiting list several months before a child is even conceived if they want to secure a baby place.”
The news comes after the Government announced childcare fee cuts in the 2023 Budget.