Annual ‘Salary’ of a Stay-at-Home Parent Could Cost an Estimated €53,480

9 in 10 people underestimate the monetary value of a stay-at-home parent – on average, valuing their ‘salary’ at €28,460


Published  11 October 2022
   5 min read

88% of women believe that society in Ireland either undervalues or under-supports the role of the stay-at-home parent

There are approximately 349,500 people in Ireland who work as stay-at-home parents – and the vast majority of these (94%) are women*. The work they do is invaluable for their families and irreplaceable for the community, yet more than 8 in 10 people agree that the role of the stay-at-home parent is either under-supported or undervalued by society in Ireland. This is according to the findings of a new survey from the rapidly growing life and pensions provider, Royal London Ireland, which was conducted by iReach earlier this year.

The nationwide survey of 1,000 participants in Ireland sought to understand people’s perception of the value of stay-at-home parents. In addition to this, Royal London Ireland compared these perceptions with their own research into the monetary value of the homemaker. The survey revealed that 93% of people underestimate the financial value of the stay-at-home parent. According to the life and pension provider’s calculations, which are based on real-world wage data, the cost to employ someone to do the ‘duties’ performed by stay-at-home mams and dads would be an estimated €53,480 per annum. Despite this, survey participants estimated the potential ‘salary’ of the stay-at-home parent at an average of €28,460 per year.

Commenting on the findings, Karen Gallagher, Interim Head of Proposition at Royal London Ireland said,

“While the role of the stay-at-home parent could be described as ‘priceless’, it is interesting to gauge the public’s perception of its value through our annual survey. It seems people continue to undervalue the role, pitching it at €28,460 which is similar to last year’s estimate by survey respondents of approximately €28,000**. It is also well below what we have calculated as the economic cost in 2022, which is €53,480.”

Highlights from the Royal London Ireland Stay-at-home Parent Survey included:

  • 61% of survey respondents believe people in Ireland value the role of the stay-at-home parent.
  • 43% of respondents believe most people value the role of the stay-at-home parent, but society as a whole doesn’t provide enough support to those in this position.
  • 39% of people say Irish society doesn’t put enough value on the role of homemaker.
  • More women (88%) than men (75%) believe that the role of the stay-at-home parent is either under-appreciated or under-supported by society.
  • 18% of people think Irish society holds the role of the homemaker in high esteem.
  • People estimated the value of the stay-at-home parent’s salary to be on average €28,460.
  • 31% of people estimated the stay-at-home parent’s ‘salary’ to be €20,000 or less. Only 12% estimated it to be between €40,000 - €50,000, and just 8% of people estimated it to be more than €50,000.

Karen went on to say,

“While 18% of people believe the role of the stay-at-home parent is held in high esteem by Irish society, it’s interesting to see that a large majority (82%) believe homemakers are not supported enough or valued by society.

“What is somewhat less surprising, given that this role is predominantly filled by females, is that more women than men (88% vs 75%) believe that Irish society doesn’t support or value the contributions of stay-at-home parents. This is despite the number of stay-at-home dads more than doubling in the 10 years from 2009 to 2019, rising from 7,000 to 19,900.*”

The Costs

Royal London Ireland considered and compiled a list of duties usually carried out by stay-at-home parents, before researching the cost of employing someone to do these jobs. The duties listed are ones that parents carry out on a weekly basis such as cooking, cleaning, driving children to their various activities and so on. The calculations reveal that the annual cost to employ someone to do the household jobs usually completed by a stay-at-home parent would be an estimated €53,480.

Job Average cost per hour Estimated hours per week Total €
Childcare Provider 11.87 30 356.10
Cleaner 10.76 8 86.08
General Cook 10.48 15 157.20
Teaching Assistant 12.00 5 60.00
Handyman/woman 16.63 4 66.52
Gardener 14.56 1 14.56
Taxi Driver (Estimated average fare) €28.80^ (Estimated number of trips) 10 288.00
Total cost per week     1,028.46
Total cost per year (52 weeks)     53,479.92

Statistics from as of 02/08/2022 except ^, which provides estimated taxi fare for 5km approx. journey in Dublin courtesy of Lynk Taxi: (charged at peak rate, heavy traffic).

Karen continued,

“While the duties and responsibilities that fall upon stay-at-home parents will vary from family to family, we have run some calculations of how much it would cost to replace someone in this role.  Interestingly, our evaluation of the cost is more than the €48,946 reported by the CSO*** as the average annual earnings of a person in full-time employment. Our figures reveal that it could cost approximately €53,000, if not more, per year. And when we asked our survey respondents how much they think it would cost to employ someone to perform the duties of a stay-at-home parent, most under-estimated it, by thousands.”

According to the survey, the majority of people (81%) estimated the stay-at-home parent’s ‘salary’ to be €40,000 or less (see Appendix). While 12% of people estimated it to be between €40,000 - €50,000, and just 8% of people estimated it to be €50,000 or more.

Karen concluded,

“It’s understandable that, without doing the calculations, many people may not accurately estimate what the cost would be to replace the stay-at-home parent. What is surprising, is just how much they undervalue it by. An accurate evaluation of this cost, from a financial planning perspective, is an important figure to contemplate by every family. If a stay-at-home parent was to pass away unexpectedly, their loved ones could be left with a large financial gap to fill during what would already be a very difficult time. And while money can never replace a parent, having adequate financial protection in place can help provide families with a financial safety net to meet some of these parenting costs. A Financial Broker can help you understand how much and what type of financial protection you might need.”


About Royal London Ireland

Royal London Ireland has a history of protecting its policyholders and their families in Ireland, and recently launched a new Pensions business in Ireland. Our business heritage in Ireland is nearly 200 years. The Caledonian Insurance Company's first office outside Edinburgh opened on Dame Street, Dublin 2 in 1824.

Today, Royal London Ireland is owned by The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited – the largest mutual life insurance, pensions, and investment company in the UK, and in the top 25 mutuals globally, with assets under management of €178 billion, 8.6 million policies in force, and 4,100 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2023.

Royal London Ireland’s office is based at 47-49 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.


* Women and Men in Ireland 2019, CSO, 2019. Table 5.15 Ireland: Principal economic status, 2009 and 2019 -


** 42% of people place more value on the role of stay-at-home parents following Covid-19 lockdowns -


*** Earnings and Labour Costs Annual, CSO, 2019.


View PDF for full appendices and survey results.