Provision of affordable childcare key to avoiding ‘brain-drain’ of experienced workers – Denise Mitchell TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Denise Mitchell TD has said the Government must take urgent measures to make childcare truly affordable or risk more and more skilled workers not returning to the labour force after the birth of a child.
Deputy Mitchell made her remarks following the publication of the National Recruitment Federation’s pre-Budget submission which highlighted the need to support women in returning to employment.
The Dublin Bay North TD said:
“Sinn Féin has long-maintained that the provision of high-quality, affordable childcare for all those who wish to avail of it is key to avoiding a ‘brain-drain’ of experienced workers, particularly women, from the labour force.
"Far too often we are seeing how high-childcare costs, often equivalent to the cost of a second mortgage, are preventing a parent from returning to employment.
“Recently the ESRI predicted Ireland will need 90,000 more workers within the next two years to sustain economic growth.
"The provision of affordable childcare would go some way in dealing with this increase in demand for workers.
“High-quality, affordable childcare is socially and academically beneficial to the child. It also benefits wider society and the economy by allowing parents to return to the workforce and providing employment in the childcare sector.
“Sinn Féin wants an early years sector that we can truly be proud of. Reliable, high quality and affordable childcare should be available to all who wish to avail of it.
"In the upcoming Budget it is vital that the Government increases investment in the early years sector in order to reduce costs to parents, improve quality standards and arrive at a childcare regime which we can be proud of.”