Counties in the Shannonside Northern Sound region rank among 10 areas with the lowest childcare fees in the country
The Independent Review of the Costs of Providing Quality Early Learning and Childcare in Ireland, conducted on behalf of the Department by consultants Crowe, shows that while €4.14 is the average hourly cost across the State, the costs charged by providers varies depending on service location, type, and size.
This report was conducted to establish what support was needed for the childcare sector in order to provide a quality service and it is expected this report will influence future funding decisions.
Of the providers that responded this region accounted for just under 6% of the figure with 25% of respondents based in Dublin.
Across the areas the Shannonside Northern Sound counties fall into the average per hour of childcare costs varied from €3.07 to €4.74.
The details of the report show that out of 30 surveyed areas Longford has lowest childcare costs in the country, followed closely by Monaghan on under €150 per week for full time care.
Roscommon is in 27th position, with Leitrim and Cavan in 23rd and 22nd place respectively. Each of these areas recorded just slightly above 150 euro per week for the same service.
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown has the highest costs in the country at €235 per week for full time services.
The report also shows 67% of rural providers income goes towards paying staff, however, despite this many providers reported that low salaries within the sector impact on the ability of providers to both recruit and retain qualified staff.
The Border Region had one of the highest staff turnover rates in the country at 15%, with the Midlands and Mid-West reporting turnovers of 11% and 9% respectively.
Providers reported a perception of poor morale amongst those working in the sector, and a more general sense of the work of the sector not being fully valued.