• Minister Zappone launches 2016-2017 Early Years Sector Profile

    Posted on October 27, 2017 by in News Updates
    26 October 2017
    Report provides insight into childcare numbers, fees, staff qualifications and wages

    Developed by Pobal for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs

    Thursday 26th October 2017: Minister Katherine Zappone today launched the 2016/2017 Early Years Sector Profile developed and published by Pobal for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

    The report, which presents an overview of the early years sector in Ireland for the academic year 2016 / 2017, is based on survey responses from 3,707 services (84% of all childcare facilities) in May 2017 and information from the childcare ICT system (PIP).

    In total there are estimated to be over 186,000 children attending early years services across Ireland. The number of children availing of government funded childcare places increased by 41% to over 147k in the last 12 months.

    Nationally, the cost of a full-time childcare place has increased by just over €7 (to €174.16), after five years of fees remaining the same. Fees are more expensive in affluent areas, in cities, and in private facilities.

    Looking at staff, the childcare sector employs over 27,000 staff, almost 24,000 of whom work with children. The average qualification level of childcare staff has increased, with 92% qualified to NFQ level 5 (up 4%) and 63% to level 6 (up 6%). Half of all childcare staff work part-time, while 2 in 5 work seasonal contracts. On average, childcare staff earn €11.93 per hour; half of these comprising of early years assistants earning an average of €10.88 per hour. The staff turnover rate in the last 12 months was 28.2%.

    Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D. thanked Pobal for their work and noted that, “this report adds to the growing body of evidence needed to target increased investment in early years. It provides insights on other important policy priorities, like affordability, sustainability and quality, and will be critical in guiding this rapidly expanding sector in future years.

    Denis Leamy, Pobal CEO added, “the Early Years Sector Profile, which Pobal has published for the last 15 years, is a definitive source of accurate and factual information on the sector and I would like to thank the childcare services that gave their time to respond to the survey. I am very proud of Pobal’s development of this report to assist our colleagues in Government in their role as policy makers. It is also an important information source in the national discussion on the direction of childcare in the future.

    The 2016 / 2017 Early Years Sector Profile Report is available to view and download on the pobal website.
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