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Poll: Should there be a network of State-run childcare centres?

Throughout this month, the Good Information Project has been concentrating on gender equality, looking at both the challenges that women face in Irish society and the potential solutions to these problems.

The Good Information Project/Ireland Thinks recently conducted a poll in which more than half of respondents stated that universal state-funded childcare should be a priority in order to achieve gender equality in the workplace.

This was also a topic of discussion during our Open Newsroom event earlier this week. Frances Fitzgerald, a member of the European Parliament, recognised that it is challenging for parents to balance work and family life.

According to her, “Ireland has made significant progress in this area, but in reality the only solution is to invest significantly more money in it and to make it a universal service that is available to all.”

Increasing the availability of community childcare, according to Hannah Deasy, Communications Director at the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), could help to improve the situation for working parents.

In their presentations, our panellists identified a number of potential remedies — but should the state go any further than that?