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Statement from Early Childhood Ireland

May 14, 2020

Statement from Early Childhood Ireland on the government decision not to proceed with provision of childcare support for frontline healthcare workers

 

It is disappointing for all involved that a solution was not found to facilitate the provision of childcare support for frontline healthcare workers – due to commence on Monday next.

The planned support, which was dependent on existing providers and workers agreeing to provide a service in the healthcare workers homes did not resolve the Covid19 related health and safety issues pertaining to all involved. Further concerns about insurance and the lack of indemnity by the state made this plan essentially unworkable, despite the best efforts of all involved.

From 29 June, is planned to open childcare settings for children of essential workers in a phased manner, with social distancing and other requirements applying. The priority now for all parties involved is to make the re-opening a success – and resolve all the issues and concerns in the coming weeks.

We are in discussions with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs regarding how exactly the protocols and other requirements will be applied to ensure the health and safety of all involved – and we will be continuing these discussions on these key matters over the coming days.

Early Childhood Ireland’s members are keen to reopen and find solutions to the new challenges. We have been surveying members views in recent weeks so that we can have a clear picture of members concerns and needs in this ‘new normal’ working environment. It is critical though, that there is immediate public health guidance issued to the sector. June 29 is a guideline that we are determined to work towards. We must address all the issues if it is to be achieved.

 

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