Campaigners are calling on the Government to begin the process of reforming the childcare system.

Childcare workers in Tipp seek better deal

There will be an exodus of workers from the early childcare sector in Tipperary and eleswhere if pay and conditions fail to improve, SIPTU spokesman in north Tipperary Pat McCabe has warned.

Mr McCabe made his comments following the recent launch in Dublin of a ‘New Deal for Early Years’ campaign by a number of groups involved in the sector.

Campaigners are calling on the Government to begin the process of reforming the childcare system in Budget 2022.

Mr McCabe, SIPTU Sector Organiser for SIPTU Big Start in Tipperary, said: “Without improvements to pay and conditions for early years educators we will see a continued exodus of qualified professional staff from the sector with the consequent impact on consistent quality education and care for our youngest citizens.”

Mr McCabe said that in Budget 2022 the Government has the opportunity to make a down payment on a new childcare system that delivers for children, families and educators.

SIPTU Head of Organising, Darragh O’Connor, said: “The current childcare system is simply not working. It must be reformed in order to create high quality, affordable and accessible services for children and families which are delivered by qualified educators with professional pay and conditions Despite their qualifications, most Early Years educators earn just above the minimum wage and parents are paying the highest fees in the European Union.”

The organisations involved in the ‘New Deal for Early Years’ campaign are SIPTU, National Women’s Council, National Childhood Network, CRANN Support Services, National Community Childcare Forum, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, OMEP Ireland, Further Education Teachers Network, Association of Childhood Professionals, Men In Childcare, PLÉ and SPARK.