73% of managers and owners believe historic pay deal for early years professionals will help address recruitment crisis
The Early Years Staffing Survey, launched by SIPTU, indicates strong support from staff, managers and owners across the childcare sector in Ireland for the new €221m ‘Core Funding’ scheme, which is due to be introduced in September 2022.
Marc O’Cathasaigh TD, Green Party Spokesperson for Social Protection stated;
“Everyone knows that the childcare sector has been chronically underfunded for decades, with the majority of early years educators earning below the living wage and with an annual staff turnover of 19%. Today’s Early Years Staffing Survey from SIPTU shows that 68% of managers and owners find it ‘extremely difficult’ to recruit staff, with poor pay the biggest obstacle for recruitment. This not only effects employers and employees but has a significant knock-on effect on parents who are struggling to find childcare places as well as struggling with rocketing costs.
“The Green Party is firmly of the view that early years professionals deserve improved rates of pay as well as improved support in their career progression, which should reflect the importance of the work that they do. Minister Roderic O’Gorman has led the introduction of the ‘Core Funding’ scheme, which is a first step in improving pay, affordability and sustainability in the sector. The funding has enabled the Joint Labour Committee to agree a pay deal for the sector which is now at an advanced stage. Today’s survey shows that 73% of managers and owners believe that an historic first pay deal for Early Years Professionals negotiated by SIPTU on behalf of workers through this process, together with ongoing improvements in pay, will help address the recruitment and retention crisis.”
According to the survey, the upcoming pay deal is also having an impact on workers’ future intentions with a majority of workers (65%) stating that the agreed rates of pay, and future increases, would make them more likely to stay in their profession.
Senator Pauline O’Reilly, Green Party Spokesperson for Education added;
“Evidence shows that early childhood education is a vital period in children’s learning and development and the quality of education settings is particularly important. It not only impacts the development of children’s basic skills and cognitive ability, it also has a critical role in developing social, emotional and physical skills that lay the foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. Achieving this needs investment. We must support the skilled and dedicated childcare providers out there who are helping to develop young minds and secure our country’s future.
“We also need to give struggling parents a dig out on the spiralling cost of childcare. While Minister O’Gorman secured a fee freeze through the ‘Core Funding’ scheme in Budget 2022, it is a priority for the Green Party to secure further significant investment in this year’s and future budgets, that will see a real reduction in childcare costs for families, while continuing to improve pay and conditions for providers and staff.”
The Green Party is firmly of the view that early years professionals deserve improved rates of pay as well as improved support in their career progression, which should reflect the importance of the work that they do. Minister Roderic O’Gorman has led the introduction of the ‘Core Funding’ scheme, which is a first step in improving pay, affordability and sustainability in the sector.