Sinn Féin launch policy proposals for working conditions of early years education and care sector
Sinn Féin has launched their policy proposals for the working conditions of the early year’s education and care sector.
The document shines a light on the working conditions, training needs and pay scales of all those working in the early years sector and, highlights the major areas of concern currently facing the sector in both rural and urban services across all provinces.
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for Education & Skills, Kathleen Funchion TD has said that meeting these challenges will be “crucial to the sustainability of the sector”.
This document was compiled after Deputy Funchion held an extensive series of national outreach meetings with staff working in the sector, with providers both community and private who serve in the sector, as well as several County Childcare Committee representatives.
There was also significant engagement with trade unions and their early years representatives, who are conducting on-going nation-wide campaigns relating to many of the issues raised throughout this document.
Some key recommendations in the report include:
• Introduce working terms and conditions for staff comparable to those within the wider education system.
• Commission the development of a nationally agreed pay scale for the early years workforce linked to the Occupational Role Profiles that recognises qualifications, experience and length of service.
• Introduce a system of Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) to recognise and reward the skills base developed by staff working in the sector over a number of years who require formally recognised qualifications.
• Reduce worker/child ratios from 1:11 to 1:9 – this would assist in early identification of problems and pay off in long run for the state.
Deputy Kathleen Funchion TD said;
“There has been an ongoing failure to deliver childcare and early education that works for children, families, and those professionals who work in early years’ education.
"Sinn Féin are aiming to provide practical solutions to some of the employment issues facing early childcare providers.
"In order to gain a full picture of this issue I examined employment conditions, wages and other challenges facing this sector.
“It is vital that qualified staff are not forced out of the sector due to poor wages and a lack of training or development for those working with children under three years of age."
Please find the Policy Document through the link below: