General election candidate Roísín Garvey says childcare supports must improve. The Green Party councillor says we need a sustainable solution before we hit a full-blown crisis.
“I’m a single mother myself and I’m well aware of the importance of quality childcare to both
children and parents. There are loads of excellent, highly qualified staff in the industry but
they’re not getting the support they deserve,” says the Green Party Councillor.
She made the comments after visiting Sunny Lane Crèche in Westbury where she discussed her ideas to boost support for early childcare with owner/managers Anne McNamara and Natalie Quane.
These plans include:
• “Early intervention should mean just that – early intervention. Well supported early intervention leads to better quality of life for children and their parents. Let’s make it available sooner.”
• “Working in early childcare needs to be recognised properly as a profession. Many staff working in early childcare hold higher level degrees, others have the experience that comes from working in the field for years. Yet often, budget limitations mean they are only employed for 38 weeks of the year and many are only paid minimum wage. This needs to change.”
• “There are four different national agencies that oversee the running of crèches and preschools. This should to be streamlined to minimise paperwork so staff can concentrate on children first.”
• “Staff development is given zero funding while more and more training is being demanded. It’s not sustainable.”
“Our children are our greatest resource,” says Garvey, “We need to treat them that way – support them, their parents and the people who look after them properly.” Garvey’s calls come as childcare providers across the country prepare for a national protest on the 5th of February in Dublin.
Photo: Cllr. Róisín Garvey, Anne McNamara, Natalie Quane & Limerick Cllr. Sean Hartigan