A new CSO module on childcare reveals a huge preference among parents for minding their pre-school and primary school children at home. The module reveals that only a small minority of parents wish to place their children into a creche, Montessori, or some similar arrangement despite the growing Government preference for this kind of childcare.
The Childcare module shows that between 2007 and 2016, there was a small drop in the number of children using parental childcare from 75% to 70%, but 70% is still a very high figure.
The number who use a creche, a Montessori, etc. is just 13%, up from 9% in 2007.
Figure 5 of the module appears to show big pent up demand for creches etc. among parents. It presents figures for the ‘alternative types of childcare desired by households’ and puts demand for creches etc. at 44% for pre-school children and 59% for primary school children.
However, this demand applies only to parents who are not happy with their present childcare arrangement. Figures obtained from the CSO by The Iona Institute show that only 18% of parents questioned by the CSO want an alternative to their present arrangement. (This was not revealed in the module released today). In other words, the vast majority of parents are not seeking an alternative to their present arrangement.
The seemingly high pent-up demand for creche, etc., applies only among the 18% who are seeking an alternative to their present childcare arrangement.
The Government is pouring more and more resources into paid, institutional childcare. This is not justified by demand for this form of childcare. The Government must also cater to the needs of parents who want to mind their children in other ways. By far the most popular way is parental care at home. The Government cannot continue to neglect this group of parents by continuing to discriminate in favour of subsidised daycare. It must adopt a much fairer policy that properly responds to the wishes of parents.
July 6, 2017