By Paul O’Malley
Childcare providers, early years educators and parents from across Mayo will take part in a national protest next month to demand a sustainable solution to issues that are currently affecting thousands of workers in the sector.
The Early Years Alliance, which brings together organisations representing early years staff, providers and parents in Ireland, announced the group will rally in Dublin on Wednesday, February 5.
The Early Years Alliance intends to highlight its Election 2020 demands for the sector. These include the development of a funding model to supports affordable and accessible childcare for parents, high quality for children and sustainability for providers.
The Early Years Alliance is also seeking adequate funding for the introduction of the Living Wage for all workers in the sector in 2020, as the first step toward a professional pay scale and the establishment of a single inspection process with a graded compliance system.
Elaine Malone is the Early Years Manager of Aughagower Childcare. She told the Western People that it is unfortunate it has come to this.
“It is sad we have to take a full day of closure in order to get the government to listen but unfortunately services are at breaking point. Rising insurance costs, commercial rates and low levels of ECCE Capitation for only 38 weeks of the year are making services unfeasible.”
“This is resulting in low wages for staff and high costs for parents. Childcare in Ireland is not working for the parent, employee or provider and it’s not surprising as Ireland only invests 0.2% of the UNICEF-recommended 1% GDP into this sector.”