From TCD's website - While the macro situation is getting understandable attention at present, Ireland is still a country that spends a lot of money on public services. The task of making sure that our public resources and infrastructures are set up to help this generation of children lead fulfilling lives should get more attention in the policy debate.
Key findings from the report include:
* 86% of nine-month-olds lived in two-parent families with 14% living in lone-parent families.
* Traditional family types are still the norm. Over 70% of the mothers of nine-month-olds were married and a further 15% were cohabiting with a partner.
* 27% of mothers and 24% of fathers were not born in Ireland.
* Nearly one in five mothers (18%) had smoked at some stage during the pregnancy and a similar proportion (20%) had drunk alcohol at some stage. Mothers with the lower levels of education were more likely to smoke, but less likely to drink alcohol, during pregnancy than mothers with the highest education.
* Just over half of all infants (57%) were breastfed at some point, with just over 49% being breastfed on leaving hospital. Irish-born mothers were less likely to have breastfed (48%) than mothers born elsewhere (83%). Rates of breastfeeding also increased in line with better education of the mother.
* One in ten mothers had ‘no intention of ever getting pregnant’ at the time they conceived the Study Infant.
* The vast majority of mothers reported their infant’s health to be good at birth (97%) and at nine months (99%).
* 38% of nine-month-olds were in some form of non-parental childcare. Grandparents were the most frequent provider of childcare (12%), followed by crèche/daycare centres (11%).
* Infants in non-parental childcare spent an average of 25 hours per week in childcare and this cost an average of €5.14 per hour. The most important consideration when choosing childcare was the quality of the care provided. However, a substantial proportion (17%) recorded that their choice had been determined by costs, either completely or to a large degree.
* A total of 57% of mothers of infants are currently working outside the home
* Mothers in higher income groups as well as those with higher education were more likely than others to report that they had missed out on home or family activities because of their work. In contrast mothers from the lowest income group were most likely to record having turned down work activities or opportunities because of their family life