Protest

Roscrea ‘early years’ workers to join protest

Early Years Professionals at Little Learners community childcare service and First Steps Roscrea are supporting protest on February 5 organised by SIPTU

Eoin Kelleher

Reporter:

Eoin Kelleher

Email:

eoin.kelleher@tipperarylive.ie

Roscrea ‘early years’ workers to join protest

Little Learners Roscrea staff, above, will support the protest

Childcare workers in Roscrea are due to join a national protest in the battle for better pay and conditions for workers in the sector.

Early Years Professionals at Little Learners community childcare service and First Steps Roscrea are supporting protest on February 5 organised by SIPTU.

SIPTU’s Pat McCabe says that Early Years Professionals and Providers have reached a turning point in the fight for better funding for this crucial part of the Education sector.

“Our members, over 5,000 strong, together with our colleagues in the Early Years Alliance will not miss this opportunity to ensure our demands are included in any upcoming programme for government.

“Ireland spends only 0.2% of GDP, well below the European average of 0.8%. This results in poor pay for early years professionals.

In Tipperary the average hourly pay is €12.07 an hour, well below the living wage figure of €12.30.

“Services cannot source and retain qualified staff. Staff turnover nationally is 23%, impacting on quality for children and capacity and sustainability for services.

“It is obvious the current model is failing workers, providers, parents and children.

“ECEC providers are left in an impossible position because affordability and high quality are placed in opposition to each other.

The incoming government must make the investment required to improve pay for educators, reduce fees for parents and ensure ECEC services are financially sustainable.

Only a new funding model which supports the government First 5 strategy for babies, young children and their families will suffice.

“Early Years educators and providers have come together as the Early Years Alliance to demand a doubling of funding to the ECEC services over the lifetime of the next administration and a new funding model.

“I’m aware that many providers will close on Feb 5, while others are making arrangements allowing workers to participate in the march,” added Mr McCabe.