Most people underestimate the value of work done by stay-at-home parents, a survey has revealed.
A parent working in the home would receive an annual wage of almost €44,000 if they were paid for all their services around the house, including cooking, cleaning and childminding, it has been estimated.
However, most people put the value of the work done by a stay-at-home parent at just €27,000, according to the survey from protection specialist Royal London.
There are around 455,000 people in the State whose principal status is given on the Census 2016 form as looking after the home or family.
The vast majority of these homemakers were women, although the number of men in the role nearly doubled in the 10 years up to 2016, rising from 4,900 to 9,200.
A stay-at-home parent is estimated to carry out 30 hours of childminding, 15 hours of cooking, eight hours of cleaning, five hours of teaching, four hours of handiwork, an hour of gardening and 10 taxi trips a week.
The market rate for this work is estimated at €44,000 over a year.
The survey of 1,000 people, carried out by iReach, asked how much it would cost to employ someone to perform the duties of a stay-at-home parent.
The survey found 61pc of those surveyed believe that the wages of a stay-at-home parent would work out between €10,000 and €30,000, if their work had to be replaced by someone - or a range of workers - coming into the home to carry out the tasks.
A further 6pc believed they would be paid less than €10,000, 17pc believed their wage would be between €31,000 and €40,000 and 7pc believed it would be more than €50,000.
The survey also looked at the number of stay-at-home fathers in Ireland.
It found that 72pc of those surveyed did not know any stay-at-home dads, and just 5pc classified themselves as a stay-at-home father.
Sara Murphy of Royal London said that the role of those parents who choose to work in the home was undervalued by the public.
"The role of a stay-at-home parent could be described as priceless," she said.
"But we thought it might be a good exercise for people to consider how much it would cost to replace them in a financial sense, and to contrast this with some real-world wage data."
Ms Murphy said the average expected salary of €27,500 is significantly lower than the €43,934 Royal London estimates as the economic cost of the work carried out by a stay-at-home parent.
This is lower again than the €47,596 reported by the CSO as the average earnings of a person in full-time employment in Ireland during 2018.
Ms Murphy added that homemakers do myriad jobs on a daily basis.
And she advised that having adequate life cover and specified serious illness cover in place can help provide families with a financial safety net to meet some of these ongoing needs and costs, should anything happen to the stay-at-home parent.