Early years workers hand postcards to Finance Department over low pay

Early years workers have said they need more recognition and pay for the job they do.

Montessori and pre-school teachers have handed postcards in to the Department of Finance today outlining how poor pay affects their lives.

As part of the Early Childhood Care and Education scheme, they receive a salary for 38 weeks of the year but have to claim the dole for the summer months.

Orla Quigley, who runs a montessori school has said their pay needs to match the job they do.

"We are paid very poorly. €10.27 is the average rate of pay for an early years worker and it's just unacceptable," she said.

"The Government has been helping parents which is fantastic but it's about time the early years workers were taken care of.

"We can't continue to take care of the high level of quality care and education we are providing to children and paretns while we're earning such a low income."

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