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02nd Oct 2015

“Government is driving mothers out of the workforce” readers on the childcare years

When our columnist Andrea Mara, aka Office Mum, wrote about the EU-wide study that revealed that for “every €100 the (Irish) mother earns, €94 is spent on tax and childcare, leaving just €6 net disposable income”, we had ha huge reader response with many women sharing their experience of the so-called ‘childcare years’.

“Childcare costs in this country are crazy. With 14 month old twins in full time care it hardly pays me to go to work.
I try and see it as keeping my job in the work force but when I’ve had a bad night or the kids are sick and I’m down a days pay but s
till have to pay the same childcare costs I question why I work. I don’t blame the crèches for their fees. They have overheads and wages to pay. The lack of government support is shocking. They are driving mothers out of the workforce.  I really hope that they actually do something in this budget instead of just talking about it.” – Linda Lambert 

“Jobs are the problem. I’m a mum-of-two in my forties and just finished a CE scheme and went back to college this year and last year off my own back. (I) got distinctions and am really working hard to get a job and (my) husband is on a CE scheme and only internships with no decent pay, it wouldn’t even cover childcare or anything else, the government need to pay mothers that want to work a decent wage … they don’t care about the Irish mothers at all.” – Linda NultySheridan 

“This is the exactly dilemma I’m having right now. I was made redundant in December last year, my plan was to take a month off so I could spend time with my son and then get back to part-time work and put my son in creche. My confidence and depression hit rock bottom after the month was up. Only recently I’ve started looking for jobs again as I miss working and that routine. I’m a single parent too, my sister and mother used to look after my son but can’t do that anymore. The way I’m seeing it, is what’s the point of going back to work when I’d just be paying for childcare. I’m completely at a loss. My sons father doesn’t help either, but I don’t want to be seen as a bum. I want to work, however I feel I will be a lot worse off money wise by doing so. #icantwin #childcaretooexpensive” – Rachael Baldwin 

“I agree childcare costs are extremely high and lots of people have to give up work because of the cost, but as a childcare professional myself we get paid very little for the job that we do all day everyday! It’s a tough job but it’s so rewarding in many ways…. We really need help from our government it’s ridiculous!” – Ciara Burke 

“I gave up work after my second child , it was best for my family. It takes time to get into your groove with it if like myself you’ve worked for years and years, but I have loved the time raising my own children and family life is also much better! Financially tough but with great benefits! I look foward to returning to the work place but only when the time is right, it has to be financially worth it.” – Joann Kelleher 

“I had no choice but to give up what would be considered as a decent job. Between childcare and rent I didn’t even earn enough to cover both of those and I wasn’t even on minimum wage (I was on alright money). People look at me like I’m a bum but as a single parent (the dad is just pretending she doesn’t exist) if not working feeds my baby then that’s what I’ll have to do. Hopefully I’ll find a way back to college so I can get a job that covers childcare.” – Karen Ní Dhochartaigh 

“I agree! Childcare costs are so high but taking time off work to be at home full-time can hurt you in the long run.” – Helen Kiernan 

How do you manage the childcare struggle?