The introduction of minimum rates of pay for Early Years workers is a welcome first step in improving employment conditions within the childcare sector, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, the party’s spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, said:

“I welcome confirmation from the Minister for Children that the first-ever Employment Regulation Order (ERO) for the childcare sector has now been signed, with new hourly rates of pay due to come into effect on September 15.

“This will result in an estimated 73 percent of Early Years workers – more than two in three – receiving wage increases, with half of childcare staff getting a 10 percent pay rise and a fifth seeing a 20 percent boost to their incomes.

“However, this is only one part of the equation and the Government has much more to do when it comes to improving conditions for those working in Early Years. It is vital that the new minimum rates set down in the ERO are seen as a floor, not a ceiling, so we can create a sustainable childcare model that is fit for purpose.

“As families and Early Years operators grapple with rising energy bills and cost of living increases, the Government needs to double-down on efforts to make childcare affordable in this month’s budget.

“Rates of pay for childcare staff must continue in an upward trajectory if the sector is to attract required staffing levels and provide additional choice and value for parents.”

September 7, 2022

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