Childcare for baby Lucas eats up a quarter of family's take-home pay
Parents Helen Rooney and Colm Cox spend around a quarter of their combined take-home pay on childcare.
Their son Lucas is just 18 months old and is in a Giraffe crèche in Cherrywood, in Dublin.
"It is very expensive. He is in a crèche for four days a week, but it eats up around a quarter of our combined take-home pay," says Helen.
The parents both work in financial services in Dublin city. Helen compresses five days of work into a four-day working week. This means she is dropping her son off at the crèche at 7.30am.
"It is tough, but we have no choice. We can't afford not having both of us working," Helen explains.
She says the cost of childcare is close to what they are shelling out in monthly mortgage repayments. And this is despite the fact that they bought their home in Cabinteely at the bottom of the market in 2010.
Ms Rooney is at pains to point out that her son is receiving very good care in the Giraffe crèche.
"Lucas is extremely happy there and very well looked after. We understand that the qualify of his care is very important, but it is a huge expense, even for two people working full-time."
Ms Rooney wants the State to introduce tax breaks on the cost of childcare to help alleviate the financial burden.
The cost is so great that the couple worries about whether they can afford to have another child.