Childcare costing up to €15,000 a year for each child
FULL-TIME childcare can cost as much as €15,000 per year per child.
Creches cost between €700 and €1,250 per month per child according to surveys carried out in the last year.
Dublin prices tend to be highest, with full-time places typically costing over €900 per month and some as much as €1,250.
Creches in more rural areas with lower property costs tend to be at the lower end of the range.
There is also variation in the opening hours and services provided at different creches.
A study for the Donegal Childcare Committee recently presented to the Oireachtas found that a family with two children in full-time creche care would typically be paying €16,470 a year.
Childminding costs are generally a little cheaper, averaging €152 per week or almost €8,000 a year, according to a Childminding Ireland survey of members.
It found that the cost of a childminder varied from €116 per week in Co Tipperary to €200 per week in Co Louth, with Dublin slightly lower at €184 per week.
Some childminders do not charge for holiday periods which would help reduce the annual cost.
Generally, it costs less to have children minded in someone else's home than it does to have them work in your own home where you are also required to pay PRSI on their salary. Some families have live-in au pairs who are typically paid about €100 per week plus bed and board for 25 hours a week.