The State has some of the highest childcare costs in Europe. Latest figures indicate a typical dual-earner family with two young children is paying more than one-third of their income on childcare. The average cost across the EU is between a quarter and a half of the Irish average. File photograph: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

Parents should not be given tax relief for childcare on the basis that this would do little to improve quality or assist less well-off families, a hig(...)

 Jolanta Burke, positive psychologist and PhD researcher at Trinity College Dublin, says that the kind of feedback you give a child is crucial.Photograph: Eric Luke

We all want our children to be happy and the temptation, in this era of “over-parenting”, is to rush in to try to fix their problems. A child down (...)

So far this year 729 children in almost 400 families in Dublin have  lost their homes

Children are going to school hungry – not just without breakfast but not having had anything to eat since they left the previous day. Families (...)

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin presented Budget 2015 in the Dail today. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Organisations around Ireland have been responding to Budget 2015. Here’s what they had to say on...The 9 per cent VAT rate Irish Hotels Federation: T(...)

Janet Mahon: ‘It is important to us that she [Abigail Kate] is in a warm environment with an equal focus on play and learning.’

Working parents often believe their child’s first day at school will bring an end to their childcare burden. Bless their innocence. People who have be(...)

Sinéad Mulhall reading, with Marie Byrne (right), to children as part of Chatter Matters at the Larkin Childcare Facility, Ballybough Preschool, Ballybough, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

It’s extraordinary to think that the baby staring silently at you and the toddler of few words are at the most crucial stage of their lives for lan(...)

Teresa Heeney, the new chief executive of Early Childhood Ireland (ECI): ‘Fees to parents can’t go up – it’s as simple as that. There has to be a different way of building the system.’ Photograph: Garrett White

The cost of childcare has to increase. There’s no getting away from that unpalatable fact in the current drive for improved standards in the Re(...)

Spring is finally here, but as well as bringing longer, brighter days and warmer weather, it traditionally flings the gate fully open to the ch(...)

The Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald,  with  John Roche from Greystones Co Wicklow. The  way the Minister has  allocated capital funding for childcare facilities has been criticised. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Government funding must be ring-fenced for private childcare facilities in the same way that community and not-for-profit services are resource(...)

Dara Hogan, manager of Fledglings Early Years, a social franchise in early education based in Tallaght, says: “Quality is about encouraging and supporting children to develop at their own pace, and taking the time to observe and support them.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

One of the key things Dara Hogan has learned over the last five years working with early years experts is not to judge a childcare facility by (...)