Delegates at the SIPTU Manufacturing Division Biennial Delegate Conference being held in Castlebar, County Mayo, have today (Thursday, 8th November) voted to endorse a motion calling on the National Executive Council of SIPTU to campaign for affordable childcare. SIPTU activist, Noeleen Moran, presented the motion to the more than 200 delegates and observers attending the conference. She said: “There is an urgent need to advance practical measures to tackle the difficulties created by the high cost of childcare for working parents, most especially for women who have historically been discouraged by this state from working outside the home.”  She added: “Access to childcare has been identified as one of the main factors pushing women into low paid jobs with flexible hours, leaving many vulnerable to precarious contracts of employment.” SIPTU Organiser, Ann O’Reilly, attended the conference on behalf of the Big Start Campaign. She said: “It is because of a lack of government investment that parents are paying too much for childcare. That is why SIPTU is building a union for childcare professionals with the Big Start Campaign.”  She added: “Already thousands of Early Years professionals have joined SIPTU to campaign for high quality, affordable and accessible childcare. It’s time for government to make the radical changes it knows need to happen to make this a reality.”