Protesters warn parents of threat to free childcare year

Protest: Members of the ACP argued for improved job security
Protest: Members of the ACP argued for improved job security

Protesters in Cork yesterday urged the Government to agree contracts with childcare providers for the free childcare provision in September.

Members of the Association of Childhood Professionals (ACP) and IMPACT were highlighting the fact that as no contracts have been agreed with day care centres parents may be forced to pay.

The Evening Echo reports that IMPACT deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan said that "many parents are working under the false premise that there will be a place for their child come September.” 

“The reality is that, as things stand, no contracts are in place and there is certainly no guarantee that this will be sorted by the time parents seek to take up their entitlements in just over two months’ time.

“In the meantime, thousands of skilled and experienced early years professionals are being forced out of work for the summer because the Government only funds early years services for 38 weeks.

“That’s no use to parents, who need care for their children 52 weeks of the year. And it is totally unacceptable to the dedicated staff who will either have no income or depend on social welfare this summer.”

Marion Quinn, chairwoman of the National Association of Childhood Professionals, said childcare workers have to sign on for social welfare paymentsthis week. “There are about 4,000 people signing on this week, because the Government gives them a 38-week contract to deliver high-quality care to young children throughout the year", she said.


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