Childhood Services Ireland, the trade association for childcare providers, has written to the Minister for Children and Youth affairs today (Friday 8th January) to appeal for his Department’s help in keeping childcare services open for the children of frontline and essential workers and vulnerable children.
According to Childhood Services Ireland, it will be extremely difficult for many providers to keep services open for so few children, with some services reporting that they will have to operate at a loss.
Commenting on their letter to the Minister, Childhood Services Ireland’s Director, Darragh Whelan, said; "We wrote to the Minister to point out that the childcare sector in Ireland is committed to playing its part in this national emergency. Providing safe childcare services to our nurses, doctors and other frontline and essential workers is critical in keeping our health service running and our providers are ready and willing to play their part, but they need urgent assistance from Minister O’Gorman and his Department to do this.’’
Darragh went on to say; ‘’While we wholeheartedly welcome the Government’s decision to keep childcare open for the children of frontline and essential workers and vulnerable children, this will mean hugely reduced occupancy, and therefore hugely reduced income for providers. This is simply unsustainable and will place a significant financial burden on providers after an extremely difficult year. If additional funding is not available, our fear is that the childcare sector will not be able to remain open.’’
Childhood Services Ireland is the Ibec trade association representing childcare providers across Ireland.