September 8, 2022
First ERO for Early Years and childcare professionals ‘welcome’ – Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has welcomed the announcement by government of the first Employment Regulation Order (ERO) for staff in early years and school-age care. 
 
Teachta Funchion said:
 
“It cannot be understated that this is a truly enormous step in the right direction for thousands and thousands of extremely dedicated early years professionals, that have been demanding better pay and working conditions for decades.
 
“For too long low pay, precious employment and poor conditions have been the defining feature of Ireland’s early years and school-age sector.
 
“This is a historic moment, but it can’t be just a moment, we must now see continued public investment into the future.
 
“I continue to remain concerned the sector will struggle to keep services open and retain staff due to historic underinvestment by successive Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour and Green governments.
 
“Considering that early years and childcare services nationally employs in the region of 31,000 people; mostly women, they have been massively let down over many years.
 
“Fragmented and piecemeal investment typified successive governments approach to a sector that is vital for children, their families, communities and the wider economy.
 
“I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate all who have advocated and campaigned for so many years. The work of securing continued better pay and staff retention continues, this is just the first step.”

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