Care providers have warned that neither parents or children will benefit if a childcare tax credit forms part of a deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil on the formation of a government. Photograph: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

Care providers have warned that neither parents or children will benefit if a childcare tax credit forms part of a deal between Fine Gael and Fianna F(...)

Children rehearse for their Christmas show at Stepping Stones Early Learning Centre, Ballynahown, Co Westmeath. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

Small children shuffle shyly into place, the girls dressed in white with gold tinsel halos while the boys in dressing gowns have tea towels tied arou(...)

Scheme worth an average of €1,500 for the parents of young children

Preschools have warned that most are not in a position to roll out Government plans to extend free childcare from next year because they cannot affor(...)

Early Childhood Ireland chief executive officer Teresa Heeney: says vital supports such as speech therapists, psychologists and occupational therapists are  needed. Photograph: Garrett White

Thousands of children with special needs are set to receive supports to allow them to benefit from the free preschool year for the first time. About(...)

Children from Cottage Kids Playschool in Tyrellstown, Lusk present their book “Being and Becoming Mathematicians Through Play” to the Minister for Education Jan O’ Sullivan. Photograph: Colm Mahady / Fennells

  Parents of children paying for pre-school care will not benefit from the childcare measures announced in Budget 2016. Minister for P(...)

Good outcome: Sinead Mulhall reading with Marie Byrne, (right) to children as part of Chatter Matters at the Larkin Childcare Facility, Ballybough Preschool, Ballybough, Dublin. May 2014. Photograph; Dara Mac Donaill.

The Government is considering how it might best invest in childcare provision in 2016 and beyond and a call for significant increased investment is be(...)

From left, Patricia Doherty, SNA, with Cian Corrigan-Griffin and his mother, Niamh Corrigan, at the ABC Club pre-school in Dunboyne, Co Meath. Photograph: Eric Luke

A bunch of preschoolers are dunking their toy cars into dishes of bright coloured paint and then gleefully running the wheels across blank pages of(...)

The movement babies experience by lying on the floor, waving their arms and legs in the air, is essential to their development. Photograph: Thinkstock

It’s endearing the way newborn babies fling their arms out when somebody closes a door too loudly, in what is known as the “startle” reflex. And th(...)

Teresa Heeney, chief executive of Early Childhood Ireland, said one year’s paid parental leave should be only one element of reform package

The introduction of a full year’s paid parental leave split between both parents could take as long as five years to fully implement, a childcare gr(...)

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(...)