News & Media

Childcare workers should be valued

5 February 2020

Statement by Seán Sherlock TD
Parliamentary Party Chair and Spokesperson on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands; Agriculture and the Marine

Labour spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Seán Sherlock TD., has said today’s protest by childcare workers again highlights the need to reform the childcare system.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“There is a general consensus in this country of the need to provide a high-quality and affordable, European-style childcare service with a low staff turnover, that enables parents to work full-time.

“But we can’t have this conversation while continuing to ignore the fact that childcare workers aren’t being paid what they should be, with many struggling to make ends meet.

“At the same time, parents in Ireland are paying some of the highest childcare costs in Europe, often the equivalent of a mortgage payment or a month’s rent.

“There is also a real shortage of creche places in many parts of the country.

“This crisis has been bubbling over for some time now but we have not seen the change that is needed.

“Today’s protest by childcare workers highlights this and shows the need for change.

“Labour’s plan for a Public Childcare Scheme for Working Parents aims to provide a State-led, high-quality, affordable childcare service that would reduce costs to parents to about a third of what they currently are, while paying workers the Living Wage.

“When a community needs a school, the State provides it. When a community needs a childcare service, the State should also play its part.”