Speaking following a telephone meeting with Minister Katherine Zappone, Sinn Féin Children and Youth Affairs Spokesperson Kathleen Funchion welcomed new measures announced that will provide relief during a worrying and uncertain time for providers, workers and parents.
But she also urged the minster to now move as a matter of urgency to introduce supports for frontline workers.
Deputy Funchion said: “It is very welcome that Department of Children and Youth Affairs will pay a retention top-up so that staff can receive a minimum payment of €350 and that they will pay the equivalent of 15% of staff costs to providers to cover other costs as a sustainability mechanism.
“In order for childcare facilities to avail of these measures, they need to sign a new contract with Department of Children and Youth Affairs, which includes an agreement to not charge parents fees from April 1st.
“Many parents have been faced with that difficulty in the past two weeks, so this is a move that will ease the burden on them in what is a challenging and anxious time for families.
“What we need now is real supports for frontline workers in the sector as a matter of urgency.
“We expect these to be advanced in the coming days but we are now two weeks into this situation and clarity is long over due. Our frontline workers deserve our support and need peace of mind.”