Childcare providers finding it increasingly difficult to offer childcare for children under the age of three
One employee can look after 11 children aged three or older, however that drops dramatically for the under three’s with one employee able to care for just three babies under twelve months
Providers say care for the so-called ‘toddlers, wobblers and babies’ will remain unviable for many of them unless the Government increases subsidies to the sector.
Speaking to RedFM News, chair of Ibec’s Childhood Services Ireland and Cork creche operator, John Bowman says many parents are also opting to take extra leave beyond the tradition six months:
“Even if you do have baby rooms for the under twelves [months] you get bookings for starting at six months, they invariably get kicked down the road a little bit- Seven, eight, nine months- you’re sitting there with rooms with empty spaces, and a room that is barely profitable as it stands suddenly becomes unprofitable. So there’s that, I don’t want it to sound completely callous, that this is all about money, but this is the reality, it’s very very expensive. Ultimately, if the government wants to grow capacity for the under two of the under trees, there’s going to have to be a serious investment into that sector.”