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24/09/2021

TDs urged to take childcare crisis seriously as Dáil returns

TDs urged to take childcare crisis seriously as Dáil returns

TDs urged to take childcare crisis seriously as Dáil returns

Early Childhood Ireland (ECI) is calling on the government to take the childcare investment crisis seriously. 

ECI made the call today as TDs return to Dáil Eireann after the summer recess. 

The early years organisation wants the government to meet their commitment to double investment in childcare by 2028, as well as include a detailed plan as part of Budget 2022.

According to ECI, serious concerns about staffing and working conditions have been raised with local representatives recently. 

Director of Policy with ECI, Frances Byrne, said the situation "simply cannot go on" and that the sector's 30,000 staff have lived with "uncertainty and insecurity" for too long. 

She said, “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the Government recognised the unique challenges faced by the childcare sector – because of historic under-funding – by introducing specific supports such as a bespoke Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme – which, even as the rest of society is showing signs of recovery, continues to support more salaries in childcare settings than in any other sector. By providing additional funding, the government has recognised childcare as an essential public service and we sincerely hope that will not be forgotten about in the upcoming budget." 

“Budget 2022, which will be announced in the Dáil in just four weeks, must build on this and establish a multi-annual funding and reform plan, which values early years and after-school care as much as primary and secondary education," she said. 

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