Dublin creche fees up to 60% higher than some other counties

Minister for Children to seek funding aimed at ‘substantially’ reducing fees for all parents

Some Dublin parents are paying up to 60 per cent more in creche fees than other parts of the country, according to the latest figures on the cost of childcare.

In Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, average creche fees stand at €244.08 per child, per week, for full-time childcare, compared with €152.08 in Carlow.

Overall across the capital, parents are paying an average of €221.57 per week – 26 per cent, or €46 per week, more than people elsewhere in Ireland where the average cost is €175.24 per week.

The figures come amid a widespread expectation that October’s budget will include measures to help families with the cost of childcare.


Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman’s spokesman said he is to seek investment in the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) aimed at “substantially” reducing fees for all parents.

Information provided to the Dáil by the Green Party Minister shows that nationwide, including Dublin, the average weekly cost of a child in full-time childcare is €186.84 or just under €750 per month.

The data comes from the Annual Early Years Sector Profile Report and is based on a survey from June 2021.

The highest average weekly cost was Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown with €244.08 for a child in full day care.

Average weekly fees in the other three Dublin local authority areas were Fingal – €214.30; South Dublin – €214.08; and Dublin city – €213.85.

Wicklow had the highest fees outside Dublin – an average of €213.36 per week, followed by Cork city on €204.36.

The three counties with the lowest costs were Carlow – €152.08; Monaghan – €153.42; and Longford – €159.17.

Mr O’Gorman announced plans at the time of Budget 2022 to ask childcare providers to freeze creche fees at last September’s levels in return for a new core funding scheme designed to improve terms and conditions in the sector.

Support is offered to parents through the NCS and Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) schemes but there have been growing calls from Government and Opposition politicians to provide more help with the cost of sending a child to creche.

Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire Jennifer Carroll MacNeill responded to the latest figures saying parents were being “crucified” by costs amounting to a second mortgage and that nowhere was that more evident than in her constituency

“It is clear that the substantial additional funding provided by the government through a range of childcare schemes in the past three years is not having enough impact on extremely high prices,” she said.

The Fine Gael TD said funding to date had been “largely going to improving salaries and quality, which is important”.

“But we now urgently need measures that more directly target the cost to parents.”

She added: “Freezing fees won’t be enough when costs are that high already.”

A spokesman for the Minister said the Government was “committed to substantially reducing the cost of childcare for parents”.

“The introduction of core funding is the first step towards significantly reducing the cost of childcare for parents. It is a direct investment into the childcare services – over €220 million in a full year.

“The majority of this funding will go to supporting staff wages, and in return for this investment, services agree to freeze fees at their September 2021 levels.”

The spokesman said: “Following this, Minister O’Gorman intends to seek investment in the NCS as part of Budget 2023, in order to substantially reduce childcare fees for all parents.”

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times