Childcare in Crisis: Need Radical Reform

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
02 April 2024

Labour’s Senator Rebecca Moynihan today sounded the alarm on the childcare crisis gripping Ireland. As reported by The Independent, less than 35% of areas across the country currently have creche places available, and in some places parents are facing up to three years of waiting.

Senator Moynihan said,
“The government is burying its head in the sand, ignoring the stark reality facing families across Ireland. With too many gaps in the childcare system, providers are closing down, leaving parents in a desperate situation. We need to move and transition to a fully publicly run system where staff are secure, supported and there is consistency in places available”

“The childcare system in Ireland is in dire straits, held together by subsidies to private provider and grants. Parents struggle to afford crippling fees, while workers in the sector are often poorly paid, exacerbating the crisis.

“We believe the for-profit, market-driven model should be replaced by a state-led, universal system, akin to primary education. Community childcare settings are key to this transition.

“Labour, with Labour Women, has been campaigning for universal childcare, advocating for an approach that prioritises equality for children, affordability for families, and fairness for professionals.

“We urge the government to adopt a new approach to childcare, defined by:

  • Equality for Children: Every child deserves access to high-quality childcare, regardless of their family’s income or location.
  • Affordability for Families: Childcare should be affordable for all families, ensuring that no parent is forced to choose between work and caring for their children.
  • Fairness for Professionals: Childcare workers deserve fair wages and conditions for the vital work they do in nurturing and educating our children.

“We need totally root and branch reform for how we provide for childcare in this country. We call on the government to implement a new approach to childcare, one defined by equality, affordability, and fairness. Our children deserve better, our childcare workers deserve better, and it’s our responsibility to ensure they receive it.”

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