In November, a new parental leave scheme will come into effect, available to all new parents in employment or self-employment.
But what does it mean for parents and their children?
Under the scheme:
Government estimates suggest that up to 60,000 parents could benefit from the scheme in a year.
Minister for Employment and Affair Social Protection, Regina Doherty said not only parents and children, but society will benefit from the new scheme.
She said: "Firstly, in that formative first year of life, children now have the opportunity to spend more time with both parents.
"Secondly, on top of the recently introduced Paternity Benefit, this extends the leave benefits available to fathers."