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Abstract

This study sought to explore and examine if the provision of full day care improves the quality of life for children and their parents. There are now 60.8% of women employed in the workforce (CSO, 2008). This means many changes for children, parents and families. Twenty-seven childcare managers in the north west of Ireland were interviewed. Also, 325 questionnaires were completed by working parents. Babies as young as four months are being cared for in childcare facilities from 6.45am until 6pm daily, five days per week. Some children are spending up to 11 hours per day in childcare facilities. The study concluded that full day care can have both positive and negative effects for children. Childcare facilities are providing good quality childcare encompassing various services. Parents are finding it difficult to manage work life balance. Health dominated quality of life issues. Two hundred and thirty five (235) (73%) parents reported being stressed. The study also found that 315 (97%) working parents feel that the government is not doing enough to support working parents. On a positive note, 241 (74%) parents said they are happy in general with the quality of life for them, their family and their children.

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