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Childcare providers announce plans to hold protest in Dublin

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Author: 
Grennan, Dan
Publication Date: 
12 Jan 2020
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Childcare providers have said they will hold a national protest in February to highlight ‘the worsening childcare crisis’.

The protest will take place on Wednesday February 5, 2020 and could see the closure of facilities for the day, as thousands of staff are expected to attend, the group says.

The Early Years Alliance, a group of organisations of providers, parents and staff, are calling for a sustainable solution.

The chairperson of the Federation of Early Childhood Providers, Elaine Dunne, said in a statement: ‘We are calling all those concerned by the worsening childcare crisis to join us on Wednesday February 5 to say enough is enough.

‘We are educators and we ned to paid accordingly. The reason the insurance hike in the sector has hit us so hard is, because we are paid so little in the first place,’ the chairperson said.

‘The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme grant pays us €4.60 an hour and we only get paid for three hours. Sustainability is the real issue for providers’.

The chairperson of the Association of Childhood Professionals, Marian Quinn, said: ‘High quality services don’t come cheap and we can’t afford to continue to subsidise the real coast of provision through low wages, unsustainable services and high fees for parent.

‘The state must accept responsibility and significantly fund this vital public service. We cannot be in a position where impoverished staff are providing the foundation level in our education system.

‘It is inequitable, unjust and immoral. Staff turnover is enormous because our profession is being exploited to meet political objectives. This has to stop,’ the chairperson added.

SIPTU’s Head of Strategic Organising, Darragh O’Connor, said: ‘Despite qualifications and hard work, Early Years educators earn just €11.45 on average, well below the living wage. The majority are struggling to make ends meet.’

The alliance is calling for the introduction of a €12.30 living wage.

The Early Years Alliance was recently established and includes the Association of Childhood Professionals, the Federation of Early Childhood Providers, SIPTU, the National Community Childcare Forum, Seas Suas and the National Childhood Network.

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Entered Date: 
22 Jan 2020
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