Today marks twelve months since 30,000 childcare and early years educators, creche owners and parents marched on Leinster House to demand better pay and working conditions.
Speaking today Teachta Funchion said:
“Childcare and early years professionals have really stepped up to the challenges posed by Covid-19, they have reopened their sector for essential workers and vulnerable children as the third wave of this horrible pandemic rages through the country.
“Today, the industry will hold a virtual Day on Action to highlight the ongoing crisis of low pay and funding in the childcare and early years sector.
“The service they have provided to essential workers and vulnerable children has been so important and a life-line for so many families.
“They have been absolutely essential in alleviating the stress many parents felt during the first wave. Their skill, their professionalism and the contribution they make to the education of young children is invaluable and I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank them for their commitment.
“But they want more than just my thanks and admiration. They want better pay and conditions. They deserve better pay and conditions. They want their work to be valued by this government. They want their voices to be heard.
“It is so unfair that we continue to fund a broken childcare system in this country that sees trained early years educators paid such paltry wages.
“I am calling on the Minister to really enact change by introducing a wage scale immediately.”