Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone TD, has launched the Early Years, Service Profile, 2015/2016.
The document provides a comprehensive national analysis of the 4,300 services providing early childhood care and education in Ireland. The data is collated by Pobal in conjunction with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
Some of the findings in the report:
Attendance: An estimated 171,200 children attended early years services in Ireland during 2015/2016.
Free Preschool Year: The number of children availing of the free pre-school year grew by 16% between 2014/2015 and 2015/2016.
Fees: The average cost of a full-time place was €167.03 per week, €0.16 less than in 2014/2015. The average cost of a part-time place was €99.18 per week, €3.82 higher than in the
previous year.
Staff: It is estimated that 25,700 staff work in the childcare sector in Ireland, of which half are employed on a part-time basis. The vast majority of all staff (97%) are female and 3% are male. Even less men are reported to work directly with children (2%).
Speaking about the report, Minister Zappone said;
“The publication of this information is particularly timely. At the moment, the sector is undergoing a period of significant policy change and development. It is vital that these changes are underpinned by accurate, reliable information.
I have no doubt that the information contained in this report will help inform the Department’s policy development so that we can meet the goal of providing affordable, quality and accessible childcare for all.”