One of the casualties of our economic humiliation was that social services so very long in the building, were reduced, almost fatally in some instances.
Though this was a political rather than an economic decision, services to help the vulnerable, the marginalised, those with voices that might be drowned in the not-me, not-me clamour, were hard hit.
The hundreds of community creches in disadvantaged urban areas are in that category but they now face an additional threat.
Under new, necessary regulations, they must employ qualified childcare workers at a cost of €24,000 for each carer. Up to now, untrained community employment workers were used. Despite that many facilities were barely solvent, there is an unbridgeable gap between income and expenditure.
Because of this, hundreds of community creches “have reached breaking point” and may close in September. These facilities were established to try to confront trans- generational poverty.
Over half of the children using these creches come from a home without a working adult, twice the national average. A third are raised by single parents.
It is entirely right that the Government insists on proper standards but it must also support those who cannot finance those standards, especially, as is the case here, the community creches that might make a contribution to breaking what seems an eternal cycle of disadvantage.
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