Childcare Support Bill is a turning point but more work is needed – Denise Mitchell TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Denise Mitchell TD has said the Childcare Support Bill represents a turning point in the State’s attitude to childcare, but that more needs to be done to bring down costs to families and to ensure workers receive a fair wage.
Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday, Deputy Mitchell said:
“High quality childcare is good news when it comes to the mental health and well-being of children, and it is also important in allowing experienced staff – and it must be said: mostly women – to return to the workforce.
“Unfortunately the cost of childcare in this State is simply far too high. Nobody should be paying the equivalent of a second mortgage for childcare. I hope this Bill represents a real turning point for Government when it comes to proper investment in the childcare sector.”
Deputy Mitchell was critical of the failure of Government thus far to address low pay in the sector:
“I have said before that we are losing experienced childcare workers who are going into other professions because the pay in this sector is well below the Living Wage. We cannot just keep our fingers crossed and hope that will change – we need to be actively working towards fair pay.
“The State is subsidising childcare; and therefore at the same time we should be focusing on a twin track approach which also aims towards better wages in the sector. This can be done gradually, but the ultimate aim must be a sector-wide pay agreement.”