Local childcare providers are among those participating in this week’s Early Years Alliance National Day of Protest.The event is scheduled to take place on Wednesday February 5th in Dublin. As a result, a number of local services will be closed as providers will be unable to meet their TUSLA required adult/child ratios.
Among the participants are representatives from ten ECEC services in the Tramore, Dunhill and Fenor.
On a daily basis, the ten ECEC services collectively cater for 744 children and 581 families.
“As a provider, this academic year, I have to personally subsidise the government’s Access & Inclusion Model (AIM) in our ECEC service by €3,201.40,” explained Elaine Walsh, An Duine Beag, Dunhill.
“This extra expense along with an enormously rising insurance premium is crippling, but without our ECEC service subsidising the governments Access & Inclusion Model, children with additional needs would not be able to fully participate in the Free Preschool Scheme (ECCE SCHEME). This needs to stop and the government needs to provide adequate investment and not be reliant on ECEC services to make up for their shortcomings.”
Ann Marie McEvoy from Naionra Philib Barún, Tramore said: “As Early Years Educators, we deserve the same rights and respect that primary teachers receive i.e. pay over the summer holidays, proper contracts, pensions etc.”Management & Staff of Kiddies Kingdom, Fenor added: “As a fully qualified and skilled workforce, we request parity with our colleagues in Education.”Some workers will remain in Waterford to protest locally. All say they have received significant support from parents and families who avail of ECEC services.