Recent childcare statistics in Ireland have revealed that the quality of childcare is a big concern for parents. A recent survey showed that a higher level of educational attainment is associated with higher levels of satisfaction with child care. Parents were also more likely to use centre-based care. The quality of unregulated child care, however, remains questionable.
Centre-based care is more likely to be used by parents
While parents may use home-based providers, some parents prefer a centre-based childcare provider. The reason for this may be as simple as a convenience, but some parents also stress the importance of choosing a caregiver who shares their heritage and cultural background. While home-based providers are often easier to find, centers may not allow parents to choose their child’s teacher.
Parents may also prefer combining care arrangements. One study examined the association between home-based child care and centre-based child care. The study also examined mothers’ perceptions of the two types of care. More research is needed to identify why parents prefer combining the two types of care. Several possible explanations for this trend include child development, parental employment, and work-family balance.
Unregulated childcare is of unknown quality
Unregulated childcare is caring for children outside a licensed childcare centre. Although it may follow basic safety limits, it is not monitored, and often occurs in a home environment. In addition, unregulated child care is hard to find, as administrative data sources often exclude this care from their data sets.
While some provinces do provide this information, most do not. This makes it difficult to compare the quality of child care from regulated centres with that from unregulated homes. As a result, parents are often left in the dark when it comes to determining the quality of unregulated child care.
Rates of the accuracy of parental reports of regulated care are lower for younger children
Rates of the accuracy of parental reports of rated care for younger children in Ireland are lower than those of older children, a new study suggests. The changes were mostly minor and do not indicate a substantive change in access. In particular, the accuracy of reports for children who are in a disadvantaged situation was lower than for others.