20 March 2017

Labour spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has called the €4 million capital funding in childcare by Minister Katherine Zappone inadequate.

“The capital funding in childcare by Minister Zappone is wholly inadequate to address the many problems facing the childcare sector.

“Our State has never invested enough in young children and their families. Labour want to take the right steps to make high-quality, affordable childcare for all children a reality. The funding announced by Minister Zappone is inadequate will do little to improve pay for the dedicated and hard-working people who work with children in Ireland.

“Minister Zappone has made €3 million available in order to allow childcare providers to expand places. However, poor terms and conditions of employment mean that large numbers of childcare workers simply cannot afford to remain in the sector.

“Labour recognises that a high quality childcare sector depends on a skilled workforce with decent pay and fair conditions. In our alternative budget proposals released last September, we pledged to implement the living wage of €11.50 for all childcare workers, compared to current average wages in the sector of just €10.27 per hour.

“If we want people with good qualifications, who are committed to caring for and educating young children, we need to make sure they can build sustainable careers. We also need to fund the opportunities for them to go to college and up-skill.

“The staff crisis is one of the real threats for the effective expansion of childcare sector and must be addressed urgently.”

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