Childcare failures unacceptable – time has come for radical overhaul

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NOTING continued closures of creches throughout the country and the serious scarcity of affordable childcare places, Labour childcare spokesperson Ivana Bacik TD has said that a radical overhaul is necessary to address systemic failings in the provision of childcare in Ireland.

Deputy Bacik said:

“There are serious problems with Ireland’s childcare system. Places are becoming increasingly limited and costs continue to rise for parents, despite early-childhood care and education scheme subsidies. Parents in Dublin can now be paying as much as €1,000 per month per child, yet low wages are the norm for many of those working in the sector. It is no wonder that we are reading reports that pregnant women are now having to book childcare places long in advance of their child’s birth.

“We need a new approach. I have long called for publicly funded, universal and affordable childcare scheme which would be accessible to all. It would require the State to invest in the staff who care for an nurture our children.

“As well as the increased concern about the availability of places in the future as many providers closed during the pandemic, significant hikes in costs have also been reported as providers prepare for the new term in September. Against this growing crisis the Government appears to have no vision for change.

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“Our society is only ever as strong as its weakest link; we cannot wait any longer to fix our care failures. The Government needs to seriously consider Labour’s proposals for a State-led childcare system that would improve the situation for parents, staff, providers and most importantly, children.”