Jennifer Whitmore TD

Low pay is the driving factor behind high staff turnover levels

Further State investment in childcare will be required to tackle the growing recruitment crisis in the Early Years sector, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on Children, said:

“The results of SIPTU’s Early Years (Childcare) Survey should serve as a wake-up call for the Government. The report found that recruitment and retention of staff is one of the greatest challenges facing childcare services in Ireland.

“Worryingly, 58 per cent of managers and owners who took part in the survey said they are finding it extremely difficult to recruit staff. This has potential implications for the quality and consistency of childcare services available to parents.

“Low pay was found to be the driving factor behind high staff turnover levels. This shows that recent improvements in pay rates in the childcare sector have not gone far enough to offset skyrocketing cost-of-living increases.

“The new minimum rates set down in the Employment Regulation Order for Early Years must be seen as a floor, not a ceiling, so we can create a sustainable childcare model that is fit for purpose.

“It is clear that Ireland needs to move closer to a State-funded childcare model – something that the Social Democrats have long called for – and that further Government investment is needed to prevent a complete collapse of childcare services.”

April 20, 2023

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