The Green Party reacted to the launch this morning of the most comprehensive report yet of the early years sector. The report was developed and published by Pobal for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
Green Party Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs, Pauline O’Reilly, said, “Despite investment aimed at reducing the cost of crèches for parents, there has been a 4% rise in fees. Where is the promised decrease for families?
“The Minister has reported the rate of increase of €4 a week this year rather than €7 a week last year as a positive move. This is neither a good return on investment nor affordable for parents.
“The government’s Affordable Childcare Scheme is designed to pay subsidies directly to crèche facilities and there are reports of increases to fees comparable to the subsidy.
“The report notes that increases in rural areas are most marked. However, the fees remain highest in urban areas.
“Salaries for childcare workers also remain low, despite the valuable work caring professionals carry out, at an average of €12.17 per hour. The low value placed on being with children is responsible for a high turnover in staff resulting in a lack of stability of care for children.
“We call for subsidies to be paid directly to families and for investment in State-run facilities to be increased.”
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