The SIPTU Big Start Campaign is calling on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) to adequately support a pre-school to primary school transition plan developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). The NCCA plan envisages the sharing of information between pre-schools and primary schools. This would include the compiling of reports and visits by Early Years educators to primary schools. Early Years manager and SIPTU activist, Mick Kenny, said: “The journey from pre-school to primary is a big step for a child. We welcome the plan by the NCCA to support this transition.However, Early Years educators need to be recognised for their contribution.  It is unreasonable for the Government to ask low paid, precariously employed professionals, who already do unpaid work because of the chronic under-funding of services, to take on more unpaid work.”   SIPTU Sector Organiser, Darragh O’Connor, said: “Over the coming days, 68,000 children will start primary school. We will also have thousands of  precariously employed Early Years educators coming off the dole and returning to work. The DCYA cannot keep making demands of Early Years educators and providers when it is not adequately investing in their work.   The average rate of pay for a qualified Early Years educator is €10.88 per hour, with thousands employed on precarious 15 hours a week, 38 weeks a year contracts. Ireland spends just 0.2% of GDP on Early Years education which is well below the OECD average of 0.7% and the UNICEF target of 1%.”   The SIPTU Big Start campaign organises thousands of Early Years educators and providers across the country. The core demand of the campaign is for the creation of high quality, affordable Early Years services delivered by professionals who are paid a decent wage.