Mother-of-three Sinead Hingston, Kilternan, Co Dublin
The promised 25 per cent reduction in childcare costs is a “good start but so much more needs to be done”, says mother-of-three Sinead Hingston.
Living in Kilternan, Co Dublin with her husband and children Lily (10), Dylan (4) and Alby (nine months), she will have to sit down and work out whether the reduction, of up to €2,100 per child per year, will be enough for her to go back to work after maternity leave.
She is “job-hunting” having worked in finance, and as a self-employed photographer.
For her two youngest, childcare could cost €2,000 a month “at least”. Her mother collects Lily from school.
“I want to work. I hate the feeling that I may not be able to afford to. The system is broken. It’s like it doesn’t even make any sense.
“I feel 25 per cent sounds like a lot, but how will that be delivered? Will it be 25 per cent for every family, in every part of the country? How will it work? I really feel like it’s not enough to make childcare affordable for thousands of families or enough to allow thousands of women go back to work. It is a start and every little helps of course, but I just wish they would really take childcare and really look at it. It’s a huge crisis for young families.”
Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman says there will be a further 25 per cent reduction in childcare costs in Budget 2024.
Hingston would like to see a cap on childcare costs, per child, and for childcare to be funded as “an essential public service [and] part of the education system”.
“I think if the Government actually sat down in front of 200 families and listened to the fears and the stress that the people are under… the cost of living is horrific at the moment but this is something that the Government really can help us out with.
“They need to support creches and childminders. There really is so much more they could do.”