ESRI Working Paper

Childcare in Ireland: usage, affordability and incentives to work

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November 26, 2021
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Successive reports have put childcare costs in Ireland at among the highest in the OECD. In this paper, we investigate the usage and cost of childcare in Ireland, profiling those experiencing high childcare costs by income quintile; family type and number and age of children. We show how the National Childcare Scheme is likely to improve the affordability of childcare in Ireland while pointing out features of the scheme that may disincentivise work. Lastly, we simulate a number of reforms to the National Childcare Scheme, showing how affordability and incentives to work are likely to be affected by the alteration of specific parameters of the subsidy