• Parents across this region are faced with increasing costs for childcare according to the latest government figures.

    There’s been an 8 percent rise in childcare nationally this year.

    Data collected from 4,000 centres across the country show average full-time fees are now costing 184 euro per week.

    Children's Minister Dr Katherine Zappone says parents should check the figures being released today to inform themselves about what they can expect to pay for childcare in their area.

    Her Department recorded the lowest full-time fees for children aged 2-3 in Co. Carlow at € 148 per week, with the highest in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown in Dublin at € 251.

    She says that despite record investment over the past four budgets, the cost to families remains higher in Ireland than in other countries across Europe and that's something she's determined to change.

    She's also urging parents to check out to see if they may be eligible for support under the new National Childcare Scheme which is being launched later this year.