Responding to the “dire situation the industry is in”, an expected 2,000 childcare workers across the country will begin a 3-day strike starting today.
The strike will begin with a protest march on the Dáil today which will be attended by both childcare workers and parents alike. The goal of which is to highlight the low-pay, inadequate government funding, excessive regulation and bureaucracy, and the ultimate cost of this – the burn-out, low morale, and unsustainability of the industry at large.
FECP (Federation of Early Childcare Providers) Chairperson Elaine Dunne highlighted the devestating effect that this is having on employees, parents, and the children.
“If Government want childcare services and ECCE places to facilitate a healthy labour market and let people go to work, then adequate provision needs to be made.”
The strikers aim to raise the flat rate that the state pays for the care of each child, which presently is only €69 per child, amounting to €4.60 an hour for 15 hours a week. The current rate has been described as “appalling”, considering the rising cost of living in Ireland.
However, the Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman has claimed the 3-day strike is “unwarranted”, claiming also that progress has been made in recent years with regards to the pay and conditions of childcare workers in Ireland.
Ms. Dunne has said that the FECP refuted a claim by government that €1billion per yer is issued to the childcare industry.
Today’s protest is set to take place at 12:00pm outside the Dáil.