Childcare workers to protest over 'pay crisis' in sector

Childcare workers to protest over 'pay crisis' in sector

Thousands of childcare workers and parents are set to hold a protest in Dublin on February 5.

The Early Years Alliance has announced it is staging the demonstration over a pay crisis in the sector.

Educators and providers say they are faced with ongoing difficulties due to the cost of insurance.

The alliance will be highlighting its Election 2020 demands for the sector at the protest.

They include "the development of a funding model that supports affordable and accessible childcare for parents, high quality for children and sustainability for providers".

They are also seeking adequate funding for the introduction of the Living Wage for all workers in the sector in 2020.

"We are calling on all those concerned by the worsening childcare crisis to join us on Wednesday 5th February to say enough is enough," said Elaine Dunne, Chairperson of the Federation of Early Childhood Providers.

We are educators and need to be paid accordingly. The reason the insurance hike in the sector has hit us so hard, is because we are paid so little in the first place.

"The ECCE grant pays us €4.60 an hour, we only get paid for three hours a day. Sustainability is a real issue for providers."

SIPTU's Head of Strategic Organising, Darragh O'Connor, said: "Early years educators across the country are committed to delivering high quality, child focused education and care.

"However, the current Government funding model for the sector is making it impossible to achieve this.

"Despite qualifications and hard work, Early Years educators earn just €11.45 on average, well below the Living Wage.

"The majority are struggling to make ends meet and will be unable to stay in their profession if things don’t change."

Labour spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Seán Sherlock, added that the crisis "has been brewing for some time" and said workers "should be on the Living Wage at a minimum."

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