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DCYA announcement of Independent Review

August 4, 2017

“A win for parents, policy makers and providers”


Early Childhood Ireland’s Response to DCYA announcement of Independent Review of the Cost of Delivering Quality Childcare

Early Childhood Ireland (ECI) welcomes today’s announcement by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, of an Independent Review of the Cost of Delivering Quality Childcare, as a win for parents, policy makers and providers.

As the leading early years organisation in Ireland, we have consistently sought an independent review of the cost of providing quality childcare in early years settings, as the existing funding models are based on a flawed understanding of the financial realities affecting the early childhood sector.

From our members, ECI is strongly aware of an unacceptable status quo whereby a majority of providers within the sector break even at best, and a sizeable part of the workforce is low-paid and employed on a part-time/38-week basis, with many currently on the Dole for the summer period.

Reacting this morning, Teresa Heeney, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland, commented, “It is essential that future budget considerations, and the cost models underpinning developments in childcare policy, are informed by the realities facing a very diverse sector. ECI commends the Minister for this invaluable piece of work. It reflects her understanding of the early years sector and her commitment to tackling the structural deficiencies resulting from historical underinvestment and fragmented policy development.”

“In particular, ECI welcomes the Review’s emphasis on quality for children, sustainability for childcare services and their staff, and affordability for parents. The organisation recognises these considerations as the three essential, interconnected pillars of a world-class childcare system. The Review announced today means that we will have a vital evidence base to underpin Ireland’s early years strategy,” concluded Ms Heeney.

It is hoped that the Review will look at variations impacting the cost of quality childcare provision. These include considerations such as whether a service is community or privately-owned, its geographical location, and future cost pressures such as wages, energy bills and commercial rates. Research conducted by the organisation earlier this year highlighted the severity of recruitment difficulties within the sector, with many services expressing concern that these difficulties would put their survival at risk.

ECI reiterates our welcome of the Review, and anticipates that its findings will be reflected in continued investment by government in early years provision and supports.


For further information, and to arrange interviews, please contact Grace Duffy 086 144 8768.

Note to editors

Early Childhood Ireland is the largest organisation in the early years sector. It represents 3,700 childcare members, who support over 100,000 children and their families through preschool, afterschool, and full day-care provision nationwide.

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