“A lot of people end up using grandparents or family . . . While there is financial support available, it’s only for registered childminders or creches.” The ever increasing cost of childcare is an issue I know a lot about. I spoke about it in this Irish Times piece from March, 2017, in relation to mature students returning to college.

Very little has improved for parents since. Here I will feature and expand upon this article and include some Social Democrat policy solutions.

As parents we put our children first. Yet when it comes to Government investment, children are always last in line. This is why we have one of the most undeveloped childcare systems in the EU. 

The Housing Crisis in Ireland has effected us all, including my family and myself. This was caused in large part by white collar crime, the lack of community in the banking system & Corruption in Ireland.

The Right Start in Life for ALL Children

As parents we put our children first. Yet when it comes to Government investment, children are always last in line. This is why we have one of the most undeveloped childcare systems in the EU. It is why our pre-school services are so under-funded when compared with other developed countries. And it is why parents must still pay significant contributions for early years care and education.

Our children deserve a much better start in life and there is much evidence to suggest that if they get this, our economy and society will reap the rewards in the long run.

The Social Democrats want to put children first by starting a multi-year programme of investment in children’s services, especially for very young children. This programme would invest in the child’s early years by ensuring parents have the choice to stay at home in the first precious year of their child’s life through extended paid parental leave arrangements, and more flexible work options for parents. It would also help develop more affordable and higher quality childcare. Furthermore, it would also provide a significant boost to enterprise by giving many parents the choice of returning to work.

We are building a new social democratic force to reshape Ireland, for the people, by the people.

The Irish Times, March 2017

This Irish Times piece from 2017 relates specifically to the struggle of mature student parents. Juggling study and parenting is hard, physically, mentally and financially. Government must address this issue as a matter of urgency. 

“There’s no getting around it, but the cost childcare is a huge issue for parents."

"A lot of people end up using grandparents or family . . . While there is financial support available, it’s only for registered childminders or creches."

“Services such as homework clubs for children could give parents a handful of hours."

Our children deserve a much better start in life and there is much evidence to suggest that if they get this, our economy and society will reap the rewards in the long run.

The Social Democrat Childcare Plan

The Social Democrats would prioritise the following policies:

  • Extending paid parental leave to 36 weeks initially and to 52 weeks over three budgets.
  • Legislation to guarantee flexible work options for parents.

Significantly improving childcare through a range of measures including:

  • Investment in quality service provision via higher capitation payments to childcare providers.
  • Setting maximum fees for childcare, ensuring public funding does not simply push up the cost of childcare. Enabling all families to benefit, with higher quality incentivised.
  • Extending subsidised childcare places to lower-income families in all areas.
  • Investing in educational supports for childcare workers.
Cllr. Carly Bailey, SDCC

I ran for Local Council and was so proud to be elected because I want to make sure my children and their friends will not be left behind and locked out like we have been. I believe that when people’s needs are met, communities are stronger, safer and more vibrant.”


Carly Bailey

“I ran for South Dublin County Council because I want to make sure my children and their friends will not be left behind and locked out like we have. I believe that when people’s needs are met, communities are stronger, safer and more vibrant.”

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