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No summer for thousands of childcare workers without contracts – McLellan

16 July, 2015

Speaking today in reaction to Early Childhood Ireland’s comments regarding unfair working conditions for childcare workers, Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson on Children Sandra McLellan said that there would be no summer for thousands of workers in the childcare sector who will be forced to sign onto the Live Register as they have no fixed contracts.

Deputy McLellan said:

“Today is the final day of this Dáil term. As TDs leave for the summer recess, the reality for many of those working in the childcare sector will be quite different to TDs and Senators.  3,370 people working in the childcare sector had to sign onto the Live Register last summer in 2014 due to no fixed yearly contracts for those workers.

“That figure amounts to 14% of the total workforce of 25,000 childcare workers in Ireland and came at a cost to the exchequer of €7.2 million.

“Those working as managers and owners of preschools already closed for the summer are unable to draw down any dole payment. And yet at the same time, they receive no money into their service over the summer while children are not attending. They receive no pay for the extensive paperwork and preparation necessary prior to starting the new term in September.  This comes from the fact that ECCE (free preschool scheme) as it stands does not cover financially in terms of capitation or duration of contract.

“This forces early childhood care and education staff onto the dole over the summer months. It’s unfair, it’s unsustainable, and it comes at great cost to the Exchequer. 

“In order for a quality childcare system to work, the pay and conditions of childcare educators must be made a priority. Rights and standards for those in the profession are a must.” 

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