A SIPTU representative has said that a commitment by the Government, made in a report launched today (Monday, 19th November), to develop a “radical new funding model” for childcare is of little value unless it effectively deals with the issues of quality, affordability and pay within the sector. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Darragh O’Connor, said: “The commitment to a radical new funding model is contained in a report entitled a ‘Whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families 2019-2028’. The report was launched this morning by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone. Unfortunately, the report fails to adequately deal with the issue of how low pay is undermining quality in the childcare sector. Qualified educators earn just €10.88 per hour on average with thousands employed on precarious contracts. The Government must follow through in its commitment to reduce the cost of childcare and increase pay for educators.” He added “Irelands spends just 0.2% GDP on Early Years Care and educators compared to an EU average of 0.7%. This has resulted in high fees for parents and low wages for educators. The SIPTU Big Start campaign seeks to unionise the Early Years sector. It is only through such a campaign which seeks to unite workers, parents and providers that we can bring about the radical change that is needed in the childcare sector.”