News & Media

Smith demands a new deal for Childcare

5 February 2020

Statement by Duncan Smith TD

Labour Dáil candidate for Dublin Fingal, Cllr Duncan Smith, has said he stands by childcare workers who are protesting in Dublin today over pay and conditions.

Cllr Smith said:

“Early years educators provide an important and professional service but their pay does not reflect that.

“At the moment we have a situation where parents are paying some of the highest childcare costs in Europe, and yet many workers are earning well below the Living Wage, with a high staff turnover. This is not sustainable. 

“If we want to be able to provide a high-quality and affordable, European-style childcare service we have to pay early years educators what they deserve.

“Our plan for a Public Childcare Scheme for working parents would ensure that staff are paid the Living Wage, while also bringing the costs down for parents to about a third of what they are now.

“Parents shouldn’t have to choose between working full-time and their children, but many are forced to, with childcare fees often costing the same as a mortgage payment or a month’s rent.

“When a community needs a school, the State builds it. When a community needs childcare, the State too should play its part.

“Ultimately, the best way for early years educators to get the respect, recognition and pay they deserve is by getting active in a trade union.”