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Parents join call for public childcare

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2023

“The joy of finding out I was pregnant quickly turned to panic.” - Parents have joined the National Women’s Council in calling for a public, affordable model of childcare

Parents across the island will today take part in a National Day of Action to call for public, affordable childcare. With Budget 2024 on the horizon, and parents across the country struggling to find quality childcare for their children, campaigners say government must commit to providing a secure and stable start to the children of the nation.

Sinéad Massey, parent-of-one, said:

“The joy of finding out I was pregnant quickly turned to panic. At just 12 weeks into my pregnancy, I had called 12 creches in 3 different counties, and I still couldn’t get a place.  I had an excel sheet with each service name and where I was on the list.  This was March 2020, and by September 2023 my child was still tenth on the waiting list in one of the creches.  By luck I secured a child minder through a friend of a friend of a friend.  This is not a unique situation, this is the childcare sector in Ireland.”

The director of the National Women’s Council (NWC), Orla O’Connor, said:

“The lack of affordable childcare is the single biggest barrier to women’s equality. It has been shown, time and again, that a public model is good for women, good for children, and good for society. Today, we are calling on government to transition to a public model of childcare similar to our public school system. We are also calling for the promised 25% cut in costs to parents as a stop-gap measure in Budget 2024.”

The National Women’s Council is leading the day of action, with a panel discussion in Liberty Hall this morning and a call to parents to take part in a social media campaign online.

NWC’s Care Officer, Eilish Balfe, said:

“A public model would ensure that every child, no matter their parents’ financial situation, has a right to an early years education. It also means the women who most need it – lone parents, low-paid workers, and women from minority groups – can access childcare on an equal footing. It creates more choices for these women, enabling them to work, or to return to education, or otherwise participate in community and political life.”



For comment: Sinéad Massey, Orla O’Connor and Eilish Balfe

What: National Day of Action for Public Childcare

When: 19 September, with photocall at 9:30.

Where: Liberty Hall, please register here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/day-of-action-public-childcare-model-tickets-711005054257


For more information or to arrange an interview with our speakers please contact Silke Paasche, NWC’s Head of Communications, on 085-8589104 or silkep@nwci.ie



About NWC

The National Women’s Council is the leading national representative organisation for women and women’s groups in Ireland, founded in 1973. We have over 190 member groups and a large and growing community of individual supporters.

This year we celebrate 50 years since our foundation with a special calendar of events and campaigns.

The ambition of the National Women’s Council is an Ireland where every woman enjoys true equality and no woman is left behind. This ambition shapes and informs our work, and, with our living values, how we work.

We are a movement-building organisation rooted in our membership, working on the whole island of Ireland. We are also part of the international movement to protect and advance women’s and girls’ rights. Our purpose is to lead action for the achievement of women’s and girls’ equality through mobilising, influencing, and building solidarity. Find out more on www.nwci.ie