Crippling childcare costs affecting labour market
Anyone with pre-school children or children requiring full-time childcare will be well aware of the exorbitant costs involved. Now the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has declared that Ireland, along with the US, has the highest childcare costs of its 34 member states. Incredibly, almost 40pc of the average wage here is needed to pay for two children in full-time childcare, a cost that is crippling many families, apart altogether from the knock-on consequences for the labour market.
This is where the OECD comes in with a strong suggestion that the situation has to be tackled by the Government.
Limited availability, but particularly the high costs involved, are a "strong barrier" to women rejoining the workforce, they say.