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CSO statistical release, 06 July 2017, 11am

Module on Childcare

Quarter 3 2016

% of children aged 0-12
Types of Childcare Used20072016
Parent / Partner7570
Unpaid relative or family friend916
Paid relative or family friend33
Childminder / Au Pair / Nanny910
Creche / Montessori / Playgroup / After-school facility913
Other11
Total children using non-parental childcare3038
 

Use of parental childcare falls from 75% to 70% between 2007 and 2016

Figure 1 Type of childcare used by children by school going status Quarter 3 2016
go to full release

There has been a fall in the number of children using parental childcare between the years 2007 and 2016. The decrease is larger among primary school children (from 81% to 74%) than among pre-school children (from 64% to 62%).  See Table 1 and Figure 1.

 Some 88% of pre-school children use a single type of childcare, with 12% using more than one. In 2007, the corresponding figures were 93% and 7% respectively. A single type of childcare is used by 91% of primary school children, while more than one is used by 9% of primary school children. The corresponding figures for 2007 were 98% (one type of childcare) and 2% (more than one type of childcare). See table 2.

The percentage of pre-school children that are minded by their parent is 62%. The corresponding figure for primary school children is 74%. The most commonly used non-parental childcare type for pre-school children is a crèche/Montessori/playgroup/after-school facility. This type of care is used by 19% of pre-school children, with the highest rate of use in Dublin (25%). The most commonly used type of non-parental childcare for primary school children nationally is an unpaid relative or family friend (16%). The highest rate is in the Border region (21%). See table 3. 

/tr>
Pre-school childrenPrimary school childrenAll children aged 0-12
Non-Parental childcare total271420
Unpaid relative or family friend211316
Paid relative or family friend241417
Childminder / Au Pair / Nanny271621
Creche/Montessori/Playgroup/After-school facility251220
Other type of childcare191919

Pre-school children spend almost twice the number of hours per week in non-parental childcare (27 hours per week) than primary school children do. A primary school child spends 14 hours per week in non-parental childcare on average. The most used type of non-parental childcare for both pre-school and primary school children is a child-minder/Au pair/nanny (27 hours and 16 hours respectively). See Table 4 and Figure 2.

Some 49% of pre-school children living in a household where both parents are present use non-parental childcare. In lone parent households, 37% of pre-school children use non-parental childcare. In areas defined as very disadvantaged, 34% of pre-school children use non-parental childcare, compared with 48% in areas defined as very affluent. The educational attainment of the pre-school child’s mother has an influence on the usage of non-parental childcare. Some 25% of pre-school children use non-parental childcare where the mother’s educational attainment is lower secondary, compared with 59% where the mother’s educational attainment is third level. See Table 5.

The average amount spent per hour on paid non-parental childcare for pre-school children is €4.20, while this figure is higher for primary school children, at €5.30 per hour. The region with the highest cost per hour for pre-school children is Dublin, at €4.90. It is also the region with the highest costs for child-minder/au pair/nanny (€5.20) and crèche/Montessori/playgroup/after-school facility (€5.70).  The Mid-West and South-East are the regions with the lowest hourly cost (€3.50 per hour). See Table 6.

/tbody>
Pre-school childrenPrimary school childrenAll children aged 0-12
State Total1187396
Border1026181
Midland916278
West1116389
Dublin15095125
Mid-East1157289
Mid-West975980
South-East834865
South-West1177596

The average cost per week per child for pre-school children is €118.00, while the average weekly cost per primary school child is €73.00. The average weekly cost for a child aged 0-12 is €96.00. The average weekly cost for one pre-school child is €133.00, €118.00 per child for two pre-school children, and €103.00 per child for three or more pre-school children. The average weekly cost per child is highest in the Dublin, at €150.00 per child per week. It is lowest in the South-East at €83.00 per child per week. See Table 7 and Figure 3.

For primary school children, the average weekly cost of paid non-parental childcare is also highest in Dublin at €95.00 per child per week. The figure is again lowest in the South-East region (€48.00 per child per week).

The average hourly cost, the average hours per week, and the average cost per week on paid childcare are all highest in the areas defined as very affluent (€5.60, 23 hours, and €123 respectively). This is the case for pre-school children (€5.00, 30 hours, and €153) and primary school going children (€6.20, 16 hours, and €91). See Table 7.

The average household weekly expenditure on paid non-parental childcare is €155.60. This is an increase from 2007, when the corresponding figure was €123.20. It should be noted that the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme was introduced in January 2010. See Background Notes for further details on the Early Childhood Care and Education scheme.

/tbody>
Level of Affluence
Very Disadvantaged48
Disadvantaged51.44
Average52.62
Affluent53.03
Very Affluent56.47

Of children aged between 3 and 6, 52% availed of the ECCE scheme in the previous twelve months. It is highest in the South-East (61%) and lowest in the Midlands (44%). In very disadvantaged areas 48% availed of the scheme, compared with 56% of those in very affluent areas. See Table 8 and Figure 4.

Of those children that did not avail of the ECCE scheme in the previous twelve months, 12% of the children’s parents did not wish to send the child to childcare, while 2% advised that there was no registered facility in their area and 1% were not aware of the scheme. See Table 9.

/tbody>
Pre-school childrenPrimary school children
Parent/guardian148
Unpaid relative or
family friend
52
Paid relative or
family friend
31
Paid childminder/
au pair/nanny
1814
Creche/Montessori/Playgroup/
After-school facility
4459
Other68
Not stated128

Households were asked what type of alternative childcare they would like to use for their children that they are currently not using. Crèche/Montessori/playgroup/after-school facility was the most desired alternative childcare type in households for pre-school children (44%) and for primary school children (59%). Some 18% of households would like to use a paid child-minder/au pair/nanny for their pre-school children, while the corresponding figure for primary school children is 14%. A paid relative or family friend was the least desired type of alternative childcare for pre-school children (3% of households) and primary school children (1%). See Table 10 and Figure 5.

Distribution of
journeys by,
purpose 2014
Level of affluence
Strongly
agree/
agree
52
Neither
agree nor
disagree
25
Strongly
disagree/
disagree
20
Not stated3
Distribution of
journeys by,
purpose 2014
Level of affluence
Strongly
agree/
agree
28
Neither
agree nor
disagree
26
Strongly
disagree/
disagree
43
Not stated4

When presented with the statement “I have access to high quality childcare in my community”, 52% of households strongly agree or agree. Agreement with this statement is highest in the West (57%) and lowest in the Mid-East (42%). In very disadvantaged areas, 46% of households strongly agreed or agreed with the statement compared to 57% of households that strongly agree or agree in very affluent areas. See Table 11 and Figure 6.

When presented with the statement “I have access to affordable childcare in my community”, 28% of households strongly agreed or agreed. The Midlands has the highest level of agreement (41%) and the Mid-East has the lowest level (19%). See Table 12 and Figure 7.

Table 1: Type of childcare used by children, by school-going status, Quarter 3 2016
% of children1
 Pre-school childrenPrimary school childrenAll children aged 0-12
 200720162007201620072016
Type of childcare      
Parent / Partner646281747570
Unpaid relative or family friend917916916
Paid relative or family friend433333
Childminder / Au Pair / Nanny121378910
Creche / Montessori / Playgroup / After-school facility191938913
Other111111
       
Total children using non-parental childcare424722333038
       
Unweighted sample (number of children) 2,072 3,850 5,922
1Percentages add to more than 100% because some children use more than one type of childcare.
Table 2: Number of types of non-parental childcare used by school-going status, Quarter 3 2016
% of children
 Pre-school childrenPrimary school children
 2007201620072016
Number of types of childcare used    
One type of childcare93889891
More than one type of childcare171229
    
Unweighted sample 2,072 3,850
1Includes a very small proportion of children using three or more types of childcare
Table 3: Types of childcare used by children by school-going status and region, Quarter 3 2016
% of children1
  Pre-school children
  BorderMidlandWestDublinMid-EastMid-WestSouth-EastSouth-West State
Type of childcare           
Parent / Partner 6556596265516765 62
Unpaid relative or family friend 1613181616162022 17
Paid relative or family friend 25235142 3
Childminder / Au Pair / Nanny 131821813131312 13
Creche / Montessori / Playgroup / After-school facility 1514152514281716 19
Other 1<1<11<1111 1
           
Total pre-school children using non-parental childcare 4547494645534545 46
            
Unweighted sample 198136234525244189230316 2,072
            
  Primary school children
 BorderMidlandWestDublinMid-EastMid-WestSouth-EastSouth-West State
Type of childcare           
Parent / Partner 7274797175747776 74
Unpaid relative or family friend 2118161512111719 16
Paid relative or family friend 42234243 3
Childminder / Au Pair / Nanny 878881077 8
Creche / Montessori / Playgroup / After-school facility 878117977 8
Other 1<11<1<111<1 <1
           
Total primary school children using non-parental childcare 3733323529313232 33
          
Unweighted sample 413249450896515341437549 3,850
            
  All children aged 0-12
 BorderMidlandWestDublinMid-EastMid-WestSouth-EastSouth-West State
Type of childcare           
Parent / Partner 6968726772667372 70
Unpaid relative or family friend 1916171513131820 16
Paid relative or family friend 43234242 3
Childminder / Au Pair / Nanny 1011138101199 10
Creche / Montessori / Playgroup / After-school facility 101011179161110 13
Other 1<11<1<111<1 1
           
Total children aged 0-12 using non-parental childcare 4038383935393738 38
          
Unweighted sample 6113856841421759530667865 5,922
1Percentages add up to more than 100% because some children used more than one type of childcare
Table 4: Average number of hours per week spent in non-parental childcare, by school-going status, Quarter 3 2016
Hours
 Pre-school childrenPrimary school childrenAll children aged 0-12
Average number of hours per week spent in non-parental childcare271420
    
Type of childcare   
Unpaid relative or family friend211316
Paid relative or family friend241417
Childminder / Au Pair / Nanny271621
Creche / Montessori / Playgroup / After-school facility251220
Other type of childcare191919
Unweighted sample1,0611,3412,402
Table 5: Use of non-parental childcare by school-going status, family type, educational attainment of mother, and level of affluence, Quarter 3 2016
% of children1
  Pre-school children Primary school children All children aged 0-12
  Use non-parental childcareDo not use non-parental childcareUnweighted sample Use non-parental childcareDo not use non-parental childcareUnweighted sample Use non-parental childcareDo not use non-parental childcareUnweighted sample
State            
State Total 47532,020 33673,767 38625,787
             
Family Type            
Couple - All 49511,734 33673,120 39614,854
             
Couple - Both working full-time 7030799 68321,002 69311,801
Couple - Both work, one full-time, one part-time 6139328 3565760 44561,088
Couple - One full-time, one unemployed [35][65]43 247696 2872139
Other couple type 1387564 4961,262 7931,826
             
Lone parent - All 3763286 3565647 3664933
             
Lone parent - working full-time 663453 7228147 7030200
Lone parent - working part-time 663473 4951181 5446254
Lone parent - unemployed **15 [9][91]45 128860
Lone parent - economically inactive 1387140 991267 1189407
Other **5 **7 **12
             
Educational attainment of mother            
Primary or below **29 694140 793169
Lower secondary 257596 1486301 1783397
Higher secondary 3763399 2476820 28721,219
Post leaving cert 4258599 32681,236 36641,835
Third level 5941881 48521,219 53472,100
Not stated **16 257551 376367
             
Level of affluence / disadvantage            
Very Disadvantaged 3466395 2377769 27731,164
Disadvantaged 5347388 3268748 40601,136
Average 4951384 4159718 44561,102
Affluent 5149412 3664793 42581,205
Very Affluent 4852441 3367739 39611,180
1Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages based on small numbers, and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.
Figures marked * are not released due to small cell sizes.
Table 6: Average hourly expenditure per child on paid non-parental childcare by school-going status, childcare type, region, and level of affluence, Quarter 3 2016
Hourly expenditure in €1
Pre-school childrenPrimary school children
 Paid RelativeChildminder/ Au Pair/NannyCreche/Montessori/ Playgroup/ After-school facility/ OtherTotal Paid RelativeChildminder/ Au Pair/NannyCreche/Montessori/ Playgroup/ After-school facility/ OtherTotal
State         
State Total[3.60]4.504.704.20 4.505.705.905.30
          
Unweighted sample48234306571 102269275629
          
Region         
Border[1.80]3.405.203.80 4.105.605.304.70
Midland[3.20]3.903.503.70 4.105.304.104.60
West[3.10]4.203.803.80 3.606.805.305.20
Dublin[3.90]5.205.604.90 5.407.207.006.40
Mid-East[3.80]4.104.604.60 5.204.605.404.90
Mid-West[4.40]4.203.503.50 4.405.204.504.80
South-East[4.90]5.002.903.50 2.904.804.904.20
South-West[3.80]4.704.904.30 4.604.407.105.20
          
Unweighted sample48234306571 102269275629
          
Level of affluence         
Very Disadvantaged[3.40]4.603.303.50 3.805.604.003.90
Disadvantaged[3.70]4.204.103.80 4.705.205.104.80
Average[3.70]4.404.504.00 4.605.604.604.80
Affluent[3.60]4.304.704.30 5.005.806.405.80
Very Affluent[3.50]5.106.005.00 4.806.207.306.20
         
Unweighted sample48234306571 102269275629
1Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages based on small numbers, and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.
Table 7: Average hourly cost, average weekly hours, and average weekly cost of childcare, by number of children, region, and level of affluence, Quarter 3 2016
 Hours Hours Hours
Pre-school children Primary school children All children aged 0-12
 Average hourly costAverage hours per weekAverage cost per week Average hourly costAverage hours per weekAverage cost per week Average hourly costAverage hours per weekAverage cost per week
State           
State Total4.2027118 5.301473 4.702096
            
Number of children           
One4.6027133 5.301676 4.8022114
Two4.2027118 5.801583 4.9021101
Three or more3.9025103 4.701359 4.401877
            
Region           
Border3.8026102 4.701561 4.302081
Midland3.702591 4.601462 4.101978
West3.8030111 5.201263 4.402189
Dublin4.9028150 6.401595 5.6021125
Mid-East4.6025115 4.901672 4.702089
Mid-West3.502797 4.801459 4.102180
South-East3.502383 4.201348 3.901865
South-West4.3025117 5.201575 4.802096
            
Level of affluence           
Very Disadvantaged3.502386 3.901453 3.601872
Disadvantaged3.8026105 4.801464 4.302085
Average4.0025101 4.801459 4.401979
Affluent4.3027124 5.701581 5.0020102
Very Affluent5.0030153 6.201691 5.6023123
           
Unweighted sample571964574 6291262630 120022261204
            
Average weekly expenditure on paid childcare 2016155.60        
Average weekly expenditure on paid childcare 2007123.20        
Table 8: Percentage of children that have availed of the ECCE1 scheme, by region and level of affluence, Quarter 3 2016
% of children2
  AvailedDid not avail
State Total   
Total 5247
Region   
Border 5347
Midland 4455
West 4949
Dublin 5446
Mid-East 5149
Mid-West 5049
South-East 6139
South-West 5148
Level of disadvantage / affluence   
Very Disadvantaged 4852
Disadvantaged 5148
Average 5347
Affluent 5347
Very Affluent 5643
    
Unweighted sample 1,008923
1Please see background notes for further details on the ECCE scheme
2Percentages may not add to 100% due to a small number of respondents (<0.5%) not stating whether they availed of the ECCE scheme or not.
Table 9: Reasons for not availing of the ECCE1 scheme, Quarter 3 2016
% of households
 Availed of scheme in previous yearsNo registered facility in our areaDid not wish to send them to child careWas not aware of free year of pre-school schemeChild does not qualifyOtherUnweighted sample
State
Total3921213116917
1Please see backgroundnotes for further details on the ECCE scheme
Table 10: Types of alternative childcare desired by households for their children, by school-going status, Quarter 3 2016
% of households
 Pre-school childrenPrimary school children
Type of childcare desired
Parent/guardian148
Unpaid relative or family friend52
Paid relative or family friend31
Paid childminder / au pair / nanny1814
Creche / Montessori / Playgroup / After-school facility4459
Other68
Not stated128
Unweighted sample302385
Table 11: Agreement with the statement "I have access to high quality childcare in my community", by region and level of affluence, Quarter 3 2016
% of households
 Strongly agree / agreeNeither agree nor disagreeDisagree / strongly disagreeNot statedUnweighted sample
State Total 
Total52252033,170
Region 
Border5523183316
Midland532522<1209
West5722173359
Dublin5225193778
Mid-East4231243408
Mid-West5519206292
South-East5227173366
South-West5421205442
Level of affluence 
Very Disadvantaged4629232635
Disadvantaged5323222609
Average5222224590
Affluent5423184681
Very Affluent5726144655
Table 12: Agreement with the statement "I have access to affordable childcare in my community", by region and level of affluence, Quarter 3 2016
% of households
 Strongly agree / agreeNeither agree nor disagreeDisagree / strongly disagreeNot statedUnweighted sample
State Total     
Total28264343,170
Region     
Border2429453316
Midland412831<1209
West3424374359
Dublin2025523778
Mid-East1926504408
Mid-West3617407292
South-East3830293366
South-West2825434442
Level of affluence     
Very Disadvantaged2626453635
Disadvantaged3426373609
Average3022444590
Affluent2626434681
Very Affluent2227474655

Background Notes

A module on the topic of childcare was included in the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in the third quarter of 2016 (July – September). The module covered topics including childcare usage and childcare costs.

Reference Period

The questions on childcare were included in the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in the three months from July to September 2016. The data was collected by Computer-Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI), a face-to face form of interviewing.

Purpose of survey

While the primary purpose of the QNHS is to collect information on employment and unemployment, it is also used to data through modules on social topics of interest.

Definitions

‘Childcare’ refers to types of childcare arrangements usually made by parents/guardians on a regular weekly basis during the working day.

‘Pre-school’ refers to children aged up to five years who are not attending primary school.

‘Primary school’ refers to children aged between 4 and 12 who are attending primary school.

‘Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme’ refers to a scheme introduced by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs which provides children aged between 3 years and 5 and a half years with one year of childcare, covering three hours per day, five days per week. Please see the following website for further details https://www.dcya.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=1143

Childcare Type

In 2016, the childcare types listed in the questionnaire were:

  1. Minded at home by me/my partner

  2. Unpaid relative or family friend

  3. Paid relative or family friend

  4. Paid child-minder

  5. Paid au pair

  6. Paid nanny

  7. Work-based crèche

  8. Non work-based Crèche

  9. Montessori

  10. Playgroup

  11. After-school facility

  12. Special needs facility

13. Other

In 2007, the childcare types listed in the questionnaire were:

  1. Child minded at home by me/my partner

  2. Unpaid relative or family friend

  3. Paid relative or family friend

  4. Paid child-minder/au pair/nanny

  5. Crèche/Montessori/playgroup/after-school facility

  6. Special needs facility

  7. Other

Derivation of Results

The QNHS grossing procedure aligns the distribution of persons covered in the survey with the independently determined population estimates at the level of sex, five-year age group and region from the Census of Population.

Highest level of education attained

The classification is derived from a single question and refers to educational standards that have been attained and can be compared in some measurable way. Questions on educational attainment are included in the core QNHS on an ongoing basis.

NUTS2 and NUTS3 Regions

The regional classifications in this release are based on the NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units) classification used by Eurostat. The NUTS3 regions correspond to the eight Regional Authorities established under the Local Government Act, 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993, which came into operation on 1 January 1994. The NUTS2 regions, which were proposed by Government and agreed by Eurostat in 1999, are groupings of the NUTS3 regions. The composition of the regions is set out below.

Border, Midland and Western NUTS2 Region      Southern and Eastern NUTS2 Region          
Border Cavan Dublin Dublin City
  Donegal   Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown
  Leitrim   Fingal
  Louth   South Dublin
  Monaghan    
  Sligo Mid-East Kildare
      Meath
Midland Laois   Wicklow
  Longford Mid-West Clare
  Offaly   Limerick City
  Westmeath   Limerick County
      North Tipperary
West Galway City    
  Galway County South-East Carlow
  Mayo   Kilkenny
  Roscommon   South Tipperary
      Waterford City
      Waterford County
      Wexford
       
    South-West Cork City
      Cork County
      Kerry

Analysis by deprivation

The Pobal Haase-Pratschke Deprivation Index is used to analyse Irish Health Survey questionnaire responses experienced by individuals. The Index uses Census data to measure levels of disadvantage or affluence in a particular geographical area. More detailed information on the index can be found here: https://www.pobal.ie/Pages/New-Measures.aspx

 The results are presented by quintiles, five equal-sized groups of households, with the first quintile representing the least deprived/most affluent area and the fifth quintile representing the most disadvantaged areas.

Acknowledgements

The Central Statistics Office wishes to thank the participating households for their co-operation in agreeing to take part in the survey, and for facilitating the collection of the relevant data.

List of previous social modules

  • QNHS Households and Family Units Q2 2016

  • QNHS – Union Membership Q2 2005-2016

  • QNHS Module on Pensions Q4 2015

  • QNHS Crime and Victimisation Q3 2015

  • QNHS Households and Family Units Q2 2015

  • QNHS Equality Module Q3 2014

  • QNHS Environment Module Q2 2014

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