The high cost of childcare is forcing some parents to quit their careers.
A new survey by the Irish Independent reveals it is costing some families €1,100 per month to have a child looked after while they work.
The average mortgage repayment sets families back less at around €913 per month.
With the IMF now urging the Government to begin means-testing child benefit, the survey found that thousands of working parents face the prospect of quitting work altogether in an effort to save money on childcare.
Chief Executive of Early Childhood Ireland, Irene Gunning, believes Ireland should follow the lead of other countries and subsidise childcare more.
The cost of childcare can rise to as much as €2,000 per month for two children, regardless of whether they use a creche or a childminder.
Ms Gunning said: "Parents need support. Children need to be in regulated premises with qualified staff, so we do need to think about how to support parents.
"I think it is a really important labour activation mechanism, because once parents can go out to work with peace of mind, that is one of the ways to get the economy moving."