Friday 9 December 2016

'Huge expense' of childminding forces father to bring his three kids to work after school

Published 08/09/2015 | 02:30

Chris McGillycuddy at work in Killorglin with his children (left to right) Fionn (5), Lucy (10) and Sally (6). Photo: Domnick Walsh
Chris McGillycuddy at work in Killorglin with his children (left to right) Fionn (5), Lucy (10) and Sally (6). Photo: Domnick Walsh
Chris and Louise McGillycuddy at ‘The Brand Geeks’ shop in Killorglin, Co Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Chris McGillycuddy has to bring his three children to his place of work when they finish school - because the family simply cannot afford childcare.

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The 35-year-old, from Killorglin, Co Kerry, runs his own marketing business, The Brand Geeks, in the town. But each weekday he collects his son at 1.40pm, and his daughters at 2.40pm, from the local school.

"My kids are five, six and 10. For a number of years we had been working from home, and we had an office at the back of the house. It was fine and it worked out well because I had an office which was separate to the house," he said.

"When the kids arrived home from school they would stay in the house and I would pop in and out to check on them.

"This year we moved the business into a retail space in Killorglin, but at the very back I have a little room for them, where they can do their homework.

"I collect my son at 1.40pm, and the two older girls finish at 2.40pm.

"I then put them in the room at the back of my office where they can play and occupy themselves.

"Sometimes they're in and out with questions, but thankfully they're good kids, and it works for us as a family.

"They can be inquisitive if there's a visitor, and sometimes they come out to see who it is. There's very little I can do about it. However, they're very well behaved most of the time.

"There's no other way around our childrearing challenges as a family.

"Because we have three children it would be a huge expense for us to get someone to look after them. We just have to make do with our circumstances as they are.

"My wife, Louise, also works full time, and finishes at 4pm.

"She arrives here at 4.45pm and then she's busy correcting the kids' homework, and doing the usual things that a mother does with her children.

"She also helps out with the running of the business, so her working day can be quite long."

Chris suggested a major strain for parents was trying to secure parental leave from their employment. "Companies should be more understanding - a lot of the businesses don't take the reality of childcare into consideration. More stringent laws are definitely needed with regard to this whole area," he said.

Irish Independent

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