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Childcare and early years educators concerned their health and safety is not taken seriously by Government – Kathleen Funchion TD

18 January, 2021 - by Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has warned that childcare and early years educators feel that their legitimate concerns around the resumption of early years are not being taken seriously, and that they have effectively been ignored by Government.

Speaking today, Teachta Funchion said:

“Firstly, I would like to commend all those working in childcare and the early years education sector for the commitment and professionalism they have shown over the past week as they headed back work. 

“It must be pointed out that childcare and early years educators are some of the lowest paid professionals in the wider education sector and yet they were expected to resume their roles whilst their colleagues in primary and secondary schools were able to resume remote teaching.

“All educators must be treated equally and the health and safety of everyone working in the wider education sector must be a priority for Government. 

“I am also alarmed at the amount of emails and phone calls I am getting from those working in the sector who are really worried about their health and safety as the nation gets to grips with this dangerous and frightening third wave of Covid-19.

“We cannot underestimate that early years educators do some of the most important work in society and time and again they are completely overlooked.

“The Government must show their commitment to improving the wages and working conditions for our early years educators and immediately address the scandalous wage inequality and act to protect these workers. 

“I have contacted the Minister to relay my concerns around the resumption of childcare and early years and to ask that these vital educators are vaccinated as a matter of urgency."

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