SIPTU members, working as childcare professionals in Ballyfermot, are calling on all Dublin City Councillors to support their campaign for fair pay and recognition. SIPTU Organiser, Dave Curran said: “On Wednesday, 16th May, the Ballyfermot Area Committee of Dublin City Council will vote on a motion submitted by People Before Profit Councillor, Hazel de Nortúin that calls on the council to support SIPTU’s Big Start campaign. We urge all Councillors to support this motion and add their voice in support of our campaign for recognition and respect for all childcare professionals.” Rachel Galvin, a childcare professional from Cherry Orchard Community Childcare said: “Childcare professionals are hugely dedicated workers who care for and educate children during their most crucial early years of development. However, many workers are paid less than the living wage and have little recognition for their qualifications or for the responsibility involved in their profession.” Big Start activist, Bernie Quinn said: “The average hourly rate for a ‘childcare assistant’ is just €10.27 per hour, whereas the average living wage in Ireland is at least €11.45 per hour." "Some childcare professionals pay almost €5000 for their qualifications, and they can be paid as little as €5,700 per year. It’s not right. The Government must recognise the importance of a properly funded Early Years sector which is affordable for parents and provides a sustainable living for childcare professionals.”