MOTHER-of-one Laura Caffrey told how she became self-sufficient for the first time in three years yesterday after learning she had a full-time job.
Her tale is a familiar story for many families. It wasn't the lack of jobs that was keeping her out of the work force, but the cost of childcare.
Ms Caffrey (34), who from Monday takes up a full-time position in a property agency, told how she couldn't afford to work full-time and pay for her daughter to be taken care of. Now, it is possible as her father has retired and her parents have agreed to help take care of her daughter Rebecca (10).
After-school fees had stood at €600, which meant she had to leave full-time work.
Laura, who moved to Ballyfermot in Dublin to be close to her parents for the extra help, was out of employment for nearly two-and-a-half years.
"I'm totally self-sufficient for the first time in three years which is good.
"I'm really happy and looking forward to it."
She feels unless the Government tackles childcare costs, many people are going to continue to face difficulties taking up full-time work.