Could childcare costs be slashed to €2 per hour?
Anyone who has ever had to fork out over €1,000 for a crèche place each month might find the new proposal by Labour interesting: state-subsidised childcare for as little as €2 per hour...
... if they are elected, of course.
According to The Independent today, parents would be able to access childcare between the ages of nine months to 12 years for up to 40 hours per week. The average costs of creche care in Ireland is €4.25 while in Dublin facilities, that increases to €5.
This new national childcare scheme is set to be one of the Labour Party's key manifestos. If implemented, the new scheme would be introduced over a five-year period and cost the tax payer €500 million per year.
Under the proposals, the cost would work out at €80 per week for one child.
Speaking about the potential move in their Childcare Working Group Report on their website, Labour said: "We in Labour Women believe that there has never been appropriate investment by the state in our youngest children.
"This is not something which arose because of the recent recession; as a country we have never really tackled the issue of early childhood care and education.
It continued: "As things begin to turn around and we start to have some options as to the direction that we want our country to go in, it’s clear that we have to prioritise doing more when it comes to supporting families raise their children in Ireland."