Did Zappone sign off on Department Creche Circular?
Responding to reports that creche owners face losing State funding if they take part in the upcoming protest by childcare workers, Labour Party spokesperson on Childcare Seán Sherlock TD has called on the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to clarify if she signed off on the circular sent to providers.
Deputy Sherlock said:
“Today’s reports are extremely concerning that creche owners look set to be essentially penalised by the Department of Children for taking part in next week’s protest to highlight the crisis in the childcare sector when they can make up the day another time.
“Minister Zappone needs to immediately clarify whether this warning issued to creche owners by her department was done so at her request in the middle of an election. This is a sector under enormous cost pressure.
“As the Minister at the helm of the Department, the buck stops with her and all those in the sector deserve to know who signed off on it?
“The crisis in the childcare sector has been bubbling over for some time, with workers rightly angry they’re not being paid what they deserve as the Minister refused to introduce a Sectoral employment order.
“These workers are highly qualified and yet are being paid well below the Living Wage, leading to a high turnover of staff in the industry.
“Parents also face the stress of having to make alternative arrangements for their children next week.
“It is very clear that the childcare sector needs a major overhaul. Labour’s plan for a public childcare scheme for working parents would ensure we have a high-quality, but affordable childcare option for parents, while workers would also be paid what they deserve.”