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Here's where it is most expensive to run a childcare service in Ireland

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Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Roderic O’Gorman said he was acutely aware that the costs examined in the report are based on pay rates that are “unacceptably” low (Julien Behal/PA)

Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Roderic O’Gorman said he was acutely aware that the costs examined in the report are based on pay rates that are “unacceptably” low (Julien Behal/PA)

Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Roderic O’Gorman said he was acutely aware that the costs examined in the report are based on pay rates that are “unacceptably” low (Julien Behal/PA)

AVERAGE costs for childcare providers are lowest in the border region and highest in the west and Dublin.

A new study commissioned by the Department of Children shows that average costs vary from €3.07 an hour in the border region to €4.74 in the west.

The average cost per hour is €4.58 in Dublin, the second highest region.

Overall, costs for childcare providers are up to 63 cent higher in urban than rural areas and are higher for those that do no provide pre-school services.

Costs average €4.14 an hour across all providers.

In urban areas the average cost is €4.37 compared with €3.74 for those providing childcare in rural areas.

Staffing makes up the biggest portion of expenditure, at an average 68pc of costs, according to the Independent Review of the Costs of Providing Childcare.

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, said he was acutely aware that the costs examined in the report are based on pay rates that are “unacceptably” low.

He said the Government has pledged to at least double investment in early learning and childcare by 2028.

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“While the findings on unit cost give us some confidence in our current levels of state subvention, I am acutely aware that the unit cost is based on pay rates in the sector that are unacceptably low,” he said.

“I also acknowledge that the unit cost varies substantially across services and, for some services; their unit cost will be lower or higher than this.”

“We have now assembled a robust evidence base to inform these future funding decisions and ensure fairness in the distribution of state supports,” he said.

The review, undertaken by Crowe with Apteligen in 2018, aims to establish the evidence for the development of affordable early learning and childcare provision.


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