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Dáil Debate on Pay and Conditions in Childcare

July 6, 2017

Early Childhood Ireland highlights importance of Dáil debate on poor pay and conditions in childcare as sector faces staffing crisis

 

Poor pay and conditions of childcare professionals is high on the agenda in the Dáil this evening, with a debate on the early years sector and workforce led by Deputy Kathleen Funchion of Sinn Féin.  The backdrop is a sector where the average wage for childcare professionals is just €11.12 per hour, a rate that has slipped further away from a Living Wage of  €11.70 per hour, as defined and updated today by the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice as the average hourly gross salary required by a single individual (without dependents) in full-time work. 

 

Frances Byrne, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Early Childhood Ireland will attend what she describes as a:

“Timely and critical debate that needs to be backed up by proper investment in childcare in the Budget 2018, as the childcare sector buckles under the strain of providing quality childcare without the investment necessary to make this happen. 

 

“The issue of low pay is even more grave considering that many early years educators have one or more dependents and many are working part-time hours and on 38-week contracts thus relying on social welfare payments over the summer months, not to mention the number of people working in childcare on the minimum wage of €9.25 per hour. 

 

“These pay rates do not tally with the responsibility of the role and the sector is in a serious and deteriorating staffing crisis.

 

“We need a high turnout of TDs for tonight’s debate, but the emphasis must be 20% on the issues which have been well documented by Early Childhood Ireland and 80% on the investment fuelled solution which must come in the next budget.

 

“When it comes to childcare – affordability for parents, quality for children and sustainability for childcare operators are all interlinked and we can’t address one without the other.  Until the issue of decent pay and proper conditions for childcare professionals is addressed, we simply won’t have a high-quality, functional system of childcare in this county.”

 

Early Childhood Ireland represents over 3,600 childcare members who support over 100,000 children and their families through preschool, afterschool and full day-care provision nationwide.

 

Ends.

 

Further information:  Frances Byrne 086 143 8680 or Carmel Doyle 087 247 3537

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