Margaret Young of Siptu
A new petition is being launched in Co Tipperary to ensure that pupils and teachers and learn and teach in a safe environment.
“Ensuring a safe environment for children and educators is a fundamental obligation of all early years and childcare sites, with fire safety being one of the most basic requirements,” said Siptu spokesperson Pat McCabe.
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) recognise this and have made available a grant of up to €15,000 to improve fire safety. However, it is only open to community providers.
While Siptu's Big Start members welcome the announcement of grants to improve fire safety measure in childcare services, it is paramount that the safety of children and workers shouldn't be discriminated against on the basis of being in a community or private setting.
Siptu members have launched a petition calling on the DCYA to allow all early years services, community and private, to access fire safety funding if they are unable to meet the costs of necessary improvements.
If enough people sign the petition, we can show this is a big issue that can't be ignored. The petition can be accessed online through the Big Start facebook page
Mr McCabe said “applications for fire safety grants must be open to both community and private childcare services.
“Children and staff in both community and private childcare services must be valued equally by our government, especially where heath and safety is concerned.”
Siptu Big Start organiser for Tipperary, Margaret Young said: “it’s crucial that all our children be treated equally and fairly, and just as importantly the staff that care for and educate them.
“The reality on the ground is that the majority of early years and childcare services need assistance to be sustainable, due to the low levels of funding provided by the government and increasing demands put on them in a growing economy. Our members clearly feel that change needs to happen. We ask that childcare providers, workers, and parents be part of that change.
Siptu's ‘big start’ campaign brings together parents, providers, managers and workers to transform the way the early years sector is funded so that is affordable and accessible for parents.
For more information on this campaign you can contact Margaret Young SIPTU Big Start Tipperary/Kilkenny on 087-6213697 email@example.com