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Pathways to Better Prospects: Early Childhood Ireland receives IHREC Project Funding

September 9, 2019

Early Childhood Ireland is delighted to be one of 28 organisations supported by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission’s (IHREC) Human Rights and Equality Grants Scheme 2019.
We successfully applied for funding under the theme ‘Decent Work’ for our research project: Pathways to Better Prospects: Delivering decent work, terms and conditions for early childhood workers.
This research project will undertake an analysis of the professionalisation, unionisation, and formalisation of pay and conditions within other sectors in Ireland. It will document a baseline of where the early childhood care sector is currently and identify key milestones to ensure staff have stable and secure employment. This will take into account the role of the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty. Research findings will be presented to national and international stakeholders at a conference in March 2020.
This research will undertake a review of legal mechanisms and industrial relations mechanisms that have led to equity of terms and conditions being achieved in other sectors. The findings of this research will inform the Workforce Development Plan (DCYA and DES) by making recommendations to support an improvement in salaries, professional status, and working conditions. The report’s findings will inform government of the resources and policies necessary to secure the development of a professionalised and socially valued workforce.
Early Childhood Ireland will ensure this research contributes towards the establishment of an appropriately skilled and sustainable professional workforce that is supported and valued, reflecting the importance of their role in working with babies, young children, and their families. We anticipate that this research will ensure that staff working in the early years sector can access productive work that delivers a fair income, security in the workplace, and social protection for families.
As a membership-based organisation, Early Childhood Ireland has a commitment to a learning partnership with our membership and a close relationship with a cohort of very engaged and progressive service providers and educators with valued practitioner research. In recognition of that expertise, we will facilitate an advisory group comprising members representative of the diversity of our settings to review the research report.
We have developed a research tender to contract a suitably qualified researcher or researchers to conduct this comparative study on pathways towards the professionalisation, unionisation, and formalisation of pay and conditions of workers in traditionally low-paid sectors. A key outcome of the research will be a proposal to appropriate comparisons and recommendations for the early years sector. This will enable Early Childhood Ireland to continue informing and influencing policy debate in this vital area.
More information on required tasks and outputs is available in the associated research tender. The deadline for tenders is Tuesday 24 September 2019.
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