Early Years Sector Profile

For the last 15 years, Pobal, in collaboration with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, has been publishing a report on the state of the early years sector in Ireland. The report, based on the survey completed by Early Learning and Care providers in Ireland, provides insights into childcare numbers, fees, staff qualifications and other aspects of early years sector.

Annual Early Years Sector Profile Report 2018-2019:

Annual Early Years Sector Profile Report 2018-2019

The report and county level data for the 2017/2018 year are below:

Early Years Sector Profile Report 2017-2018

County level statistics for early years sector 2017/2018

Other recent reports are listed below:

Early Years Sector Profile Report 2016-2017

Early Years Sector Profile Report 2015 – 2016

Annual Early Years Sector Survey 2014 Report

Pobal Annual Early Years Sector Survey 2013 Report

Pobal Annual Survey of the Early Years Sector 2012

Geosparcity Index

Pobal developed Geosparcity index which categorises a childcare service or a geographical area in regard to the supply and demand for childcare. The index uses the census data on the number of children within a set distance as a measure of demand and the number of registrations, within the same distance, as a measure of supply. By looking at these numbers from a geographical perspective, we are able to determine if an area is well catered for or if it needs extra childcare places.


Pobal, through Better Start, administers elements of the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM). AIM is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme.

Access and Inclusion Model Annual Report 2016/2017

Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund

Comhairle na nÓg Annual Report 2019


If you have any questions about Pobal’s reports, please contact us at research@pobal.ie.