FIGURES released this week place Carlow as having the lowest full-time childcare costs in the country. Data released by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs indicates that the lowest full-time fees in the country (for children aged between two and three years) were recorded in Co Carlow at €148 a week. That brings the average price of childcare in Carlow to €594 a month, making it the cheapest place in the country.
The highest full-time crèche fees were recorded in the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown area of south county Dublin, where parents are handing out €246 a week (€1,005 a month).
The average across the country for part-time fees is €109.98 a week, up 8%, according to figures released this week.
Full-time childcare is classed as five or more hours a day, while part-time is between three-and-a-half hours and five hours.
The figures were drawn from almost 4,000 early learning and school-age childcare services throughout Ireland and highlight major variations across the country.