September 30, 2014

Tax-Free Childcare Proposal endorsed by mums in Pre-Budget Submission is Ireland’s biggest online community of mums. With over 500,000 unique users per month from all over the island of Ireland, represents the single biggest community of mums in Ireland. recommends for the Government to introduce a tax-free childcare credit in the forthcoming Budget to help low and middle income families. Research from the parenting community revealed that:

  • 63% of working mums are struggling to manage their childcare costs
  • 84% of stay-at-home mums would like to take up employment but are restricted by high childcare costs
  • 22% of mums who had been employed before their children have sought help to manage their stress and anxiety since they cannot afford to get “a break” at work
  • 35% of mums are using Au Pairs and to better manage their childcare costs but would prefer to place their children in professional childcare or after-school services
  • 91% of mums believe that the introduction of a tax credit for professional childcare services would improve their financial situation
  • 48% of working mums lean on the generosity of grandparents and other family members to bridge the childcare gap

The Pre-Budget Submission sent in by to Government offices today, proposes that families can claim marginal tax relief and a tax credit of up to €1,500 per child a year in tax-free childcare. Further details of the proposal include:

Childcare Services Annual Tax Relief Qualifying Criteria Annual Qualifying Income
Registered Full and Part-time Professional Childcare Services 20% Marginal Tax Relief up to maximum €7,200 Lone Parent and Dual-income families of children under 5 years. Self-employed & PAYE workers. 

Each parent’s income level must be less than or equal to €100,000

Registered Before and After-School Childcare Services €1,500 Tax Credit per child Lone Parent and Dual-income families of children under 12 years. Self-employed & PAYE workers. 

Each parent’s income level must be less than or equal to €100,000

The pre-Budget proposal has the potential to provide much needed support to over 900,000 families. Commenting on the proposal, Laura Haugh, Mum-in-Residence for said: “The high costs of professional childcare services are prohibitive for many of our mums who wish to continue working after they have had children. Our proposal to introduce tax-free childcare for families where both parents work outside of the home will help many families who need two incomes to meet their mortgage requirements.  It also introduces choice to mums who wish to work outside of the home where up until now many mums have reported feeling trapped by childcare costs. Very often this scenario sees the family forced into making a decision for the higher income earner, who is more often the male partner, to be the one to continue working.”

“Our Government Budgets have been blamed time and time again for contributing to the boom and bust scenarios our economy has experienced. Now is the time to use the money saved from the EU bailout agreement and build for sustainable economic growth, which includes affording mums the opportunity to contribute to this. The Irish economy grew by 7.7% in the 12 months to the end of June this year, our fastest rate in 7 years – our 2015 fiscal policy needs to facilitate a greater number of tax payers to support this kind of growth in the medium-term.” estimates that their tax-free childcare proposal could save a low to middle income* earning dual-income family with two children around €2,190 a year. If introduced, the boost direct to the pockets of hard-working families, would be the biggest measure ever introduced by the Government to help parents with childcare costs.

Research shows that parents who can return to work after having children have much better career and income prospects for the rest of their life. Access to professional childcare for all is crucial to Ireland’s future economic and social success.