'We ran into a total brick wall finding care for two children' - couple searching for future childcare places
Ronan Buckley and his pregnant wife Niamh live in Maynooth and are due their second baby in a month's time. They already have one son, Charlie (14 months), and have been searching for months to secure a future childcare place for him and his unborn sibling.
But one childcare institution told them they wouldn't have any availability until 2022.
"At the moment, Charlie is being minded by his grandparents and we're really lucky we have that support, but two young kids is too much so we said we would look for crèches for maybe three days a week.
"We ran into a total brick wall," said Ronan, who works as a physiotherapist.
"We had absolutely no joy locally so we had to extend the search to Leixlip. We eventually got a place for Charlie starting next year but when we asked about the second child, they said 'no', so we had to start looking in Celbridge.
"We asked five different places and eventually we got one facility happy to take both of them, but it doesn't start until June 2020.
"Niamh is hoping to go back to work in March so we have a three-month gap to fill and we honestly don't know what we're going to do then.
"We might have to look at taking parental leave, but we won't be able to confirm anything until closer to the time."
He said Maynooth, Co Kildare, was "baby-boom central" and is full of young families in the same predicament. He said there's at least five different couples living on their road who are in a similar crisis.
He said they're lucky to have family support, but for many couples that's not an option.