March 12, 2020
Assurances needed for Early Years staff, services and parents amidst decision to close crèches – Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin Children and Youth affairs spokesperson Kathleen Funchion has said that while crèche closures are necessary to contain the spread of Covid-19, assurances need to be made by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to staff, parents and providers that measures are being put in place immediately, so that staff and families are not placed in serious financial difficulty as a result of nationwide closures.

Deputy Funchion said;

“The decision made at State level to close all crèches and schools is to be welcomed. It is an essential step in trying to halt the spread of Covid-19 and is absolutely necessary for the safety and well being of all children and staff.

“The Early Years Forum is meeting this evening with DCYA officials to discuss the effects this decision will have on the Early Years sector as a whole and the families with children attending services.

“I urge the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to now increase the Sustainability Fund for the sector to further support services who may be impacted negatively by having to close their services. I would also ask that the department review the case management process and to expedite that process in order to release funding to services urgently. This fund should be used to ensure that services are sustainable and that staff have a viable wage.

“The case management process must also ensure that measures taken will have no negative impact on quality, such as by reducing staff numbers to an absolute minimum for example.

“Finally, I would ask the department to take into account the difficulties that crèche and school closures will present to working parents who are now without childcare until the end of March. Many will be out of pocket for monthly fees that are already paid.

“Given the financial stress this will cause families, I implore the government to consider a subsidy to be paid to working parents, such as a doubling of child benefit payment that could contribute  towards the following months’ crèche fees for example.

“There will be many lone parents who will not have a partner at home to rely on for assistance if they are expected to work from home. This cohort of working parents must also be factored into the departments’ emergency plans.

Follow us online

Latest Tweets

People here pay their taxes and deserve first-class public services.

Finance Minister Caoimhe Archibald met with the Treasury today on behalf of the Executive to continue our efforts to secure fair funding for health, education, and public services.

After over a decade of cruel

The government has given NO additional investment for building badly needed homes across the state.

Today is a missed opportunity to take a real step in tackling the housing crisis and shows how out of touch Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are with workers and families.

Summer Economic Statement delivered by a government that is out of time and out of road - @PearseDoherty

"The State has the resources to tackle the problems that workers and families are facing – what is lacking is political will."

Myself and @ClaireKerrane raised the emergency case of Tori Towey with the Taoiseach seeking urgent intervention in her situation.

The system in Dubai, rather than protecting this Irish citizen chose to detain and charge her.

She wants to come home.

The Taoiseach must

Load More