'My daughter has had to grow up quickly – I feel guilty about that'
A MOTHER who recently came off the live register to return to work has said childcare costs are putting parents in a "desperate situation".
"When my daughter was a baby, my mother looked after her because her creche fee was €960 a month," 34-year-old Laura Caffrey told the Irish Independent. "It really is a desperate situation."
Ms Caffrey eventually left the workforce but has returned to employment with a property agency in the last number of months.
"I went back to work in September last year and I'm loving it. I went on to a full-time contract three weeks ago. The only reason I can afford to do that (go full-time) is because my mother can do childcare," said Ms Caffrey, from Ballyfermot in Dublin.
"As soon as I went back to work, my rent allowance was stopped," she added.
Ms Caffrey, a single mother, said the situation was just as bad for two-parent families who were trying to return to the workforce.
"You are talking about €600 a month for after-school care. I live in Ballyfermot. My mother lives in Ballyfermot. Rebecca (her daughter) goes to school in Walkinstown. She gets the school bus to my mother's house. I don't get out of work until 4.30pm or 4.45pm and get home at 6pm," she explained.
Rebecca, who is 10, has had to grow up quickly, said her mother, adding: "I feel guilty about that, how grown up she is."
Ms Caffrey said her daughter used to go to school on the other side of the city but she had to move her to a school closer to her parents' house.
She said an after-school club would cost €700.
"That's if you're lucky because there are very few after-school clubs. The school bus drops her at the end of my mother's road. If my mother was not around to do childcare, there's nowhere I could put my daughter," she added.
Ms Caffrey used to work by the IFSC in Dublin city centre and her daughter's school had been in Sandymount.
When the offices moved to Ballymount, she had to give up that job.