Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Children Robert Troy TD has said grandparents are paying a high price as a result of the crippling cost of childcare.
Deputy Troy made the comments after a new study from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing revealed that providing more than 60 hours of childcare a month can be damaging to the health of grandparents.
“The study clearly shows us that parents are not the only ones suffering as a result of the crippling cost of childcare, but that grandparents are also being affected” said Deputy Troy.
“The study by the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing has found that the health of grandparents can suffer if they have to care for children for more than 60 hours a month on a continuous basis.
“Everyone acknowledges the very important role that grandparents have to play in the upbringing of children, but it is important that their own health is maintained. Parents are seeing more and more of their disposable income being directed towards childcare. Many simply cannot afford the escalating childcare bills and are being forced to be over-reliant on their own parents as a result.
“This over-reliance on grandparents is having an impact on their health. The exorbitant childcare costs mean that grandparents still have to care for children even when they themselves need a break.
“The Government has spent the past 4 years ignoring the extreme pressures on working families when it comes to juggling childcare. Ireland has among the highest childcare costs in the OECD. Despite this the Government still has not moved to tackle the crisis in a meaningful way. Fianna Fáil has prioritised the issue in pre-budget submissions and we have engaged extensively with parents to hear their concerns and proposals.
“We will be publishing a comprehensive and fully-costed plan to deal with the childcare crisis in advance of our Ard Fheis. It’s time for the Government to get real and acknowledge the childcare crisis. Working parents need to be supported without any further delays.”