The SIPTU Big Start Campaign is hosting a public meeting to discuss the ‘Crisis within Childcare’ in the Breaffy House Hotel, Castlebar, County Mayo, tomorrow (Thursday, 8th June), at 8.00 p.m. All those involved with the Early Years Education Sector including parents, providers, managers and workers are invited to attend the event. The meeting will be addressed by County Mayo Big Start Campaign co-ordinators, Fianna Fáil TD, Lisa Chambers, who is a member of the Oireachtas Committee for Children and Youth Affairs, and the Chairperson of the Association of Childhood Professionals, Marian Quinn. Fianna Fáil TD, Darra Calleary and Fine Gael Senator, John O’Mahony, have also confirmed that they will attend the meeting along with a number of Mayo county councillors. SIPTU Big Start Campaign Co-ordinator, Clement Shevlin, said: “The Early Years Sector is in a very volatile state at the moment, parents are paying too much for childcare, workers are paid too little to make ends meet, and providers are struggling to break even. “The SIPTU Big Start Campaign is about bringing together workers, providers and parents to demand adequate investment by the Government in the Early Years Sector. Parents need access to quality services and highly qualified professionals need quality pay.”He added: “The Castlebar meeting will provide all those involved in the Early Years Sector with an opportunity to show a united front and give elected public representatives an understanding of their struggles.” SIPTU Big Start Co-ordinator, Ann O’Reilly, said: “The professional abilities of Early Years Educators need to be recognised and valued. Every day, they do an incredibly important job nurturing and developing our children.“The Sector has been neglected for too long, workers in the Sector feel overburdened and undervalued. The time has now arrived for those in the Sector to take a stand for decent pay and working conditions.”