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26th Aug 2021

‘A real opportunity’ – Recruiters encourage Irish employers to help with childcare costs

Kat O'Connor

“The struggle for parents to balance careers and caregiving was an issue even before the pandemic.”

Ireland’s childcare issues are something that can no longer go ignored. Parents are struggling more than ever to even find childcare services for their children, nevermind being able to afford the  fees.

It is an ongoing issue that could be eased if employers were to help staff with childcare costs.

A new survey discovered that only 1.1% of participants said their employer helped them with childcare costs.

1,551 people took part in the survey conducted by recruitment firm Morgan McKinley.

Trayc Keevens of Morgan McKinley Ireland commented: “The struggle for parents to balance careers and caregiving was an issue even before the pandemic.”

“There is now a real opportunity for employers to achieve a better balance in the workplace through the inclusion of childcare support in their benefits offering.”

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The survey also found that more people believed a mix of working from home and in-office/onsite. They felt this working hybrid would create a healthier work/life balance, especially for those with children.

The CEO of Early Childhood Ireland, Teresa Heeney said childcare needs to be a higher priority in the next budget.

She said the “unsuitable waiting lists” are putting immense pressure and stress on parents.

She told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland: “At Early Childhood Ireland, we’re certainly saying that this next Budget, unlike the last Budget, the last Budget invested nothing more in this sector and this Budget has to change the pattern and we have to focus on this entire sector and particularly services for children under the age of three.”

She said Ireland needs to “do better” for parents who are finding it impossible to find childcare.