SIPTU Head of Organising, Darragh O’Connor said, “For months families have been struggling to balance work and look after children. The funding announced today should see vital childcare services reopen on the 29th June.

“However, even before Covid-19, the sector was in the middle of a low pay and staffing crisis. A majority of Educators earn below the Living Wage of €12.30, resulting in an average staff turnover rate of 40% in full day services”.

“Despite the DCYA pumping €75 million into childcare, Early Years Educators will only be guaranteed, at most, 85% of their already low wages. Only 16% of Educators have a sick pay scheme and those with underlying heath conditions will most likely face the dole. This vital service cannot be delivered on poverty pay and conditions.”

He added that, “The incoming government needs to deliver on the pledge to reform childcare so that it is high quality, affordable and delivered by educators who are paid a decent wage”.