Warning of a looming “winter of discontent” in the Community Sector, SIPTU has highlighted the plight of the community-based childcare services.
A recent survey of more than 3,000 childcare managers and staff “indicated that many facilities face reducing services or potential closure over the coming months due to an inability to recruit the necessary qualified professionals required to run them,” said SIPTU.
SIPTU Head of Organising, Darragh O’Connor said: “Many qualified and skilled educators simply cannot afford to stay in their profession. The survey found that 42% of Early Years educators are actively looking for a job outside the sector with 75% identifying low pay as the reason for leaving their profession.
The Early Years Staffing Survey Report 2021 was launched at a special online briefing for Oireachtas members and reveals a sector “drifting further into crisis due to the impact of low pay and staff leaving the sector”.
Campaigners are calling on the Government to invest an additional €150m in childcare, split between pay and affordability measures.
Read more about the survey findings here: https://www.siptu.ie/media/pressreleases2019/mainnews/fullstory_22248_en.html
In February 2020, SIPTU’s childcare facilities campaign saw 30,000 people march in Dublin over low pay and lack of state investment.*
FINGAL: Reps meet ministers
Meanwhile, Children’s minister Roderic O’Gorman and Minister of State for Community Development, Joe O’Brien, met online with community representatives from Fingal on Sept. 10 “to discuss early years and childcare” issues in the local area.
The Fingal Children and Young People’s Services Committee welcomed the meeting, saying: “Community based not for profit childcare services provide such essential services to communities.”
Grainne McKenna, who lectures in early childhood education at DCU, said it was “great to see engagement and discussion about the important and much valued work of community based early childhood settings in Fingal.”
Minister O’Brien remarked afterwards, “Good first meeting. Having affordable childcare for disadvantaged and marginalised communities is particularly important in facilitating community engagement and ultimately community development.”
Minister O’Gorman remarked, “These engagements are incredibly valuable in exploring solutions for communities in Fingal & nationally.”
Empower Fingal organised the meeting.
* Read why 30,000 people marched in Dublin last year (just before Covid) here: https://www.changingireland.ie/digital-magazine-archive/