Regulating this Country’s Childcare service…

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    This is TayP’s husband here.

    Just wanted to get across a few points in this section regarding the Creche Business Model that exists in this country. THe truth be told, Ireland has sooooo much to learn from other countries in relation to what Child Care is all about – you know that saying "Our Children are our Future" ? well… I can only just think that who ever thought that one up didn’t realise that Ireland would take the friggin biscuit when it came down to the cost of care for them!!!!!

    what I want to convey here on tihs section is very important, EXTREMELY important, and I know what I want to say so well, but I have so many ideas rolling around in my head sometimes it can be a nightmare to get them down on paper.

    I AM sick and tired of being robbed of my HARD earned money every week, I don’t mind paying for quality, but I do mind not being looked after as a customer – ok, some of it comes down to lack of experience in customer care, but a lot of it is just pure greed.

    Our creche wants us to pay 480 Euro minus 10% for 3 kids per week, now, whilst most people say that this is the norm, it’s NOT ACCEPTABLE.

    in one month this will cost me almost 3 times what my house costs me per month, not only that, that 480 is just 120 short of what our monthly Groceries and household shopping comes to.

    I appreciate that Creches are a business but they are more than so, they are a service and each child and parent is entitled to that service, especially when paying through the teeth for it.

    The issue is that 480 Euros is extortion for 3 children, 3 children full time, ok, but not fulltime, not even 8 hours per day. That 480 Euros is a full week’s wage for some, more than so for MOST. Creches offering 10% discount is not great, there should be a 25% discount for your second child and a 50% discount for the third if there is to be any such deal at all…. but even this is not acceptable.

    Other countries have a policy in place where Child Care is concerned, it is regulated. THe UK Model is not one I am familiar with, but the Nordic one is, having lived there for six years with our first two children.

    Policy needs to be brought in to Ireland in a similar fashion to Scandinavia.

    There, a MAX-TAX policy isin place – where you pay a fixed percentage based on your NET income – and everyone pays the same percentage, regardless of income, so you might not pay the same fee if you earn more but you pay a fair rate based on your means.

    4% for Child 1
    2% For child 2
    1% for child 3 (these rates are actually very close to what it really is)
    Now, whilst that seems crazy, it works, and it is fair, so if you only earn 400 Euros a week, you won’t be robbed of your money just so you can have a job.

    Not only that, but in Sweden, it is LAW, that parents are entitled to 15 hours FREE child care in creche per week, per child. (Sweden has a population of 9million people by the way).

    Now, it’s no wonder that their economy is so friggin strong, it’s no wonder that they have such a strong work force and it’s no wonder they think they have it all – THEY DO, in reality, they do.

    A detached house in Scandinavia will cost roughly 150 000 – 230 000 Euros for a large 4-5 bedroom house ca. 160m2 and a huge garden front and back – compare that to what we pay in Ireland and we see just how POOR we really are.

    Rich Ireland – dont think so – and I earn a really good wage.

    What I want to see is POLICY brought in for change in child care regulation in this country that will enable parents to reap the benefits of the service they are ENTITLED to.

    How else will the economy grow? How else will the work force remain strong, we can only keep going for so long with both parents working, but it’s not just child care costs that are killing us; school fees, uniforms, books, copies, pencils, materials otherwise, bus fees, school tours, lunches and all the rest of it – school tracksuits that cost more than some NIKE sets – frankly I*m amazed at how much money I have spent in the last two years since coming back to Ireland and it scares the be-jaysus ouame!!!

    I love home, I think Ireland is great in lots of ways, but no-where is perfect, and I accept that, but this situation where children are costing us an arm and a leg to raise in Ireland is not right!! It’s not acceptable and change needs to be brought into force by this government.

    1: Policy change on how Child Care providers CAN operate.
    2: Clear guidelines as to what they can charge laid out in a regulated MAX-TAX % based Fee on household means, minus outgoings.
    3: A Clear and Defined Bill ratified by the Dáil stating that all parents are entitled to Child Care, with no incursion of costs to retain places where deposits have been paid and a right to X amount of hours per week free (subsidised by the government of course).
    4: a Clear and defined weekly or monthly invoice presented by creche to parents aand receipt of payment to the same effect made mandatory and completed by an authorised auditor/accountant.
    5: No Right for Creches to assert their own prices or fees for any service provided.
    6: No reduction in the quality of service or facility provided.
    7: Government to take action and regulate/audit each creche around the country and have a liaison in the local municipal council where issues can be raised by parents.
    8: Government to pay Creches in advance for the year for subsidised rates for parents with more than one child in a facility and free hours being allocated.
    9: Policy in effect that prevents any care provider from blackmailing parents into paying for places when child(ren) absent for 10 days or more to retain places.
    10: Where bank holidays or other non-paid days are concerned, creches cannot charge for these days – I am a self employed contractor, if I don’t work a BH I don’t get paid for it, if I take holidays I don’t get paid from the customer I provide my services to – I haven’t provided the service and that’s the way it works for everyone in business for them selves… just like the private creches! (crèches are also closed for these days – where is the cost for us parents?)
    11: the 250 Euros per child per quarter under 6 years of age isnot enough – it needs to be more.

    I could go on and on, but I don’t have the time right now… but I am in shock, I would like for any parent with School Children in Daisy Chain to contact me if their boys or girls will be there over the summer weeks.

    I would like to know what you are being charged and if we cannot have a chat and get this thing regulated: I’m not criticizing Daisy Chain, the facility and service is great, but no business should be able to extort prices like this. Anybody interested in jumping on this bandwagon and helping me sort this out?

    Contact me on 087-946 20 87, Seán is the name.


    THe UK Model is not one I am familiar with, but the Nordic one is, having lived there for six years with our first two children.

    Contact me on 087-946 20 87, Seán is the name.

    Sean I agree with a lot of the points you raise but the implications on taxation to pay for it all will probably mean a lot of people wont agree (not that Im one of them)

    Having arrived from the UK I will give you an idea of how it works there. If you earn about 60k sterling between you and spouse forget about any tax credits at all, doesnt matter if you live in Liverpool or London, the thresholds are the same despite costs of living being dramatically different. Of course you still get your 18 pound a week child benefit so we are all rolling in money…

    …until you have to send you little boy to nursery which we did. There were about 3 places nearby that would take a 1 year old and they were all really great so it was a tough decision to choose one. Not as tough as paying out 1050 Sterling per month for a place (I think thats about 1500 Euro last time I looked)

    Theonly reduction from this is IF your employer runs a childcare voucher scheme you can get about 800 sterling reduction per year by paying some of the costs from your Gross salary not Net.

    Im sure I saw an episode of Top Gear when Jeremy Clarkson drove to Sweden racing against Hammond going by boat. I think you can do it in about 22 hours by road…could be worth us all commuting


    Oh my God that is shocking, I didnt and dont have time to read all your post tonight but I will tomorrow… I cant believe that you will pay 480 a week 😯


    Hi Guys, cheers for replying, and Lisa, thanks for posting in the other area.

    This one will be a long post again, but better elaboration of what my proposal for Childcare costs should be.

    Also, I would love to hear from everyone else, please… lash your ideas in here, brainstorm to beat the band, don’t hold back… I’m not here to just whinge and whine… I’m here to do something about this, and believe me… I’m a gunner when I know what I want.

    Toby, fair play to you for posting with another male point of view… I’m wiating for my own registration to be approved and I can write under my own profile. Another man in the troop… the more the merrier eh!

    Anyhoo… I spoke to Daisychain and I got a kind of reasonable deal out of them, but only reasonable in the sense that there is reduction, but I still think prices are too high – our two boys are only there full time for summer and only 6 weeks at that. So I got the price changed after some careful discussion with the proprietor.

    Regarding regulating the service, I guess I should be more elaborate and explain what MAX-TAX means.

    This has nothing to do with how much tax we pay to the government, rather, it’s the maximum amount of our income a childcare provider can charge us for their services.

    So, for one child, regardless how much you earn, they might only be able to charge you 7% of your household income, and if it has to be gross, so be it.

    A Second child would come in at 4% and a third at 3% more.

    So: 1st child = 7%; 2nd Child = 4% and 3rd child = 3%

    Take a rough guide on income: Annual income, Couple with average salary of 44000 Euro per year.

    Child 1 = 44000 @ 7%; 3080 / 12 months = 256.66
    Child 2 = 44000 @ 4%: 1760 / 12 months = 146.66
    Child 3 = 44000 @ 3%: 1320 / 12 months = 110.00

    This is a total of 513.32 a month.

    Now take into consideration that most couples are coming home with 3420/month roughly, when you take into cosideration cost of living, mortgage and travel costs, plus clothing and footwear, you don’t have much left – eh!

    513.32 don’t seem that little really does it… not when you only have 3420.
    Rough Outgoings Estimate for 2 working adults in this scenario:
    Mortgage = 1100
    Groceries = 600
    Travel = 350
    Insurance = 200
    Childcare = 513.32
    ESB Bill = 60.00
    Telephone = 60.00
    Heating = 90.00

    Total = 2973.32 Euros… before you’ve even taken the kids swimming or cinema or whatever… before you’ve even treated yourself to a cream bun and a cup of tea…

    I’m just wondering if my analogy of what should be done is so crazy for the government now?

    I still think 513.32 is a lot of money per month, but it’s a damn sight better than 1500 like a lot of parents in Dublin are paying for 2 kids today!

    Ok… ok… gone on enough now, just really wanna do something about this and I’m drafting a Bill to present to Brian Cowen and the minister for Children and Family Welfare in the coming weeks, as well as sending them invoices for the cost of our childcare (paid of course, but I will be so bold as to say I want them to refund a large portion of this cost 😈 😈 😀 )

    Shutting up now, let the ball roll with the rest of ye, so go for it.


    If they set up something like the tax breaks for pensions schemes for creche/childcare cost! We can only live in hope…. I gave up work as I couldnt justify paying my car and childcare cost out of my wages, I would have been working for a few hundred euro a month 🙄 🙄 I’m very lucky that dh is very very well paid, but its still tought to run two cars and a house on one wage…..
    I feel the bigger picture is being missed here, where is the population of tomorrow??? People cant afford to have more then 1 or 2 children, what will happen in 30/40 years time when we are all pensioners and they just enough young people in the work force keeping the counrys coffers alive… My advice is pay in a good pension scheme now as the state pension might soon be a thing of the past. But how do you do this when trying to pay a kings randsom for childcare cost… Bertie wake up and help us


    I think for my own part and for the wife’s part, it’s the principal here that is most important, like Taylor says, justifying paying out that money is ludicrous.

    I’m aiming for change and I’m gonna start lobbying the Ministers for Finance and Children for this change. Showingthem the model I suggested plus pursuading big bad Brian to use a lot of that Stamp Duty excess billions to alleviate Childcare, or else this country won’t have a work force in 5 -10 years, we’ll all be immigrating to far off lands again where the grass is greener, except this time not becuase of recession and lack of work, but for better quality of life and fair treatment.

    Maybe I’m just losing my marbles, but I think that’s the way it’s going to go.


    Look at the English and French people how the stand together and shout until their point is heard, as for us we just plod alone and put up with the crap. I remember a man started a loby group about cheaper car insurance for young people, it did take years but it did work.
    I think a buggy rally through the centre of Dublin City would make them stand up and listen. I wonder if Bertie will change now he has grandkids

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