The Right Dublin Creche For The Right Price

Last February the National Consumer Agency conducted a survey of crèche prices in Dublin and other regions in Ireland, as part of its series of pricing and price transparency surveys. The survey focused on private facilities offering day care on both full and part-time bases. The survey’s stated objective was not to highlight or compare specific operators, but rather to ‘identify general trends in price levels amongst this group of service providers.’

Among the survey’s findings were the following:

  • The average price across all regions for full-time care for a baby aged six months was €191 per week, however the highest average crèche fees were in Dublin’s Swords area with a high of €233.
  • The variance between maximum and minimum price for full time crèche fees for a baby aged 6 months, was recorded in Dublin (a variation of €84).
  • The overall average crèche price across all regions for full-time care for a toddler aged twenty-eight months was €181 per week. The average price ranged from a high of €220 in the Dublin 6 & 6W area to a low of €145 in the Sligo area, a difference of 52%.

Clearly, it is vital to shop around, and when comparing crèche prices in Dublin, it can be very useful to know where a particular Dublin crèche fits, compared to the average in Dublin and, indeed, around the country.

However, price alone is an insufficient criterion on which to base your choice of a crèche in Dublin, and it probably shouldn’t be the most important.

The crèche price in Dublin is, of course, going to be a major factor in your decision, but the real question is not the ultimate price, but what you are getting – or, more importantly, what your child is getting – for the money.

Crèches in Dublin vary enormously from one place to another. To make the decision that is right for you and your children you need to consider a number of factors in addition to price:

  • Location – is the crèche convenient to you? You’ll be ferrying your child back and forth every day, and having a crèche close to home or on a convenient route between your home and work can save a tremendous amount of time and petrol (read: money).
  • Ethos/philosophy – is the crèche basically just a babysitting service? Or is designed around an educational ethos that you believe in, and that can contribute to your child’s early education?
  • Staff training – a major factor influencing Dublin crèche prices is the cost of hiring staff. If a Dublin crèche’s fees seem particularly low, ask what training their staff has. Skilled and well-trained staff cost more, but may well be worth it in peace of mind and direct benefit to your child.
  • Nutrition – are chicken nuggets and chips doled out to appease children, or are meals an integral aspect of childcare, with due attention paid to providing nutritious food that builds healthy habits for your child’s future?
  • Play amenities – are the facilities sufficient to keep kids active and happy, with lots of variety for physical, mental and social stimulation?

Yes, when choosing a crèche in Dublin there are many factors besides price that should be considered. Of course, in the current economic climate (and, indeed, in any economic climate) the real question you should be asking is not just about Dublin crèche fees, but about value. At any end of the Dublin crèche price spectrum, childcare is a significant expense. Shop around, ask yourself what you really want for your child, then find the crèche that gives you excellent value for your hard-earned money.