SIPTU representatives have called for the extension of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme for the childcare sector before the full reopening of services in September. SIPTU Head of Strategic Organising, Darragh O’Connor, said: “There was unanimous support for the extension of the wage subsidy scheme from both politicians and representative groups during the Oireachtas Covid-19 hearing today (23rd June). It is the clear that the current childcare system is broken. Parents pay the highest fees in the EU while qualified educators are paid just €11.44 per hour on average leading to an average staff turnover rate of 40% in full day services. By retaining the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme we can radically reform the Early Years sector. Together with increased investment, this new model would reduce fees, raise wages and drive quality in the child care sector.”