The ‘Big Start’ campaign is arguing for high quality early years services delivered by qualified professionals. This will be set out in the ‘Big Start’ Affordable Childcare submission that will be published this week. The document endorsed by organisations including SIPTU, Barnardos and the National Childhood Network, sets out the campaign’s views on the principles and high-level goals that the proposed Single Affordable Childcare Programme (SACP) or future integrated SACP/ECCE programme should meet.  SIPTU Big Start Campaign Co-ordinator Darragh O’ Connor said: "The new ‘Single Affordable Childcare Programme’ announced by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, will not significantly address quality. Early Years professionals are struggling on an average of €10.27 per hour, with many earning the minimum wage. Indeed, professionals have little money or time to attend training and education to improve their skills. “Early years services are also struggling to recruit and retain qualified staff because pay is so low. The result is that many dedicated, skilled and qualified Early Years professionals don’t see a future in the Early Years sector. If we want the best for our children when they enter Early Years Care and Education, we need to address pay and access to training for professionals.” 11.00 a.m., Wednesday 9th November The Oak Room, Mansion House, Dublin 2