South Dublin County Council (SDCC) voted unanimously in favour of a motion supporting the call by the SIPTU Big Start Campaign for increased investment and recognition for workers in the Early Years sector at its meeting in County Hall, Tallaght, Dublin 24, on Monday (8th May). Following the vote, councillors decided to write to the Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, calling on her to take action on the issues raised by the SIPTU Big Start Campaign. The motion in support of increased investment and recognition for workers in the Early Years sector was jointly submitted by the Mayor of SDCC and Independent councillor, Guss O’Connell and Labour Party councillor, Pamela Kearns. “It was great for councillors to have an opportunity to meet with Early Years educators and service providers before the council meeting to hear first-hand the serious issues facing sector”, Pamela Kearns said. “At this meeting it was made clear that workers in the sector need for more respect and recognition.” Lisa Stirling, an Early Years educator from Clondalkin, said: “I love my job working with children but I want to be properly valued for the work I do. I think we need to come together in the sector to ensure that we are respected and recognised.” SIPTU Organiser, Dave Curran, said: “The Early Years sector is in a crisis and needs to change. Our key message is that to deliver quality Early Years services for our children, we need to attract and retain qualified educators in the sector. This can only be achieved if the qualifications and experience of these professionals are recognised with appropriate pay and conditions of employment and this will require adequate investment by the State.”