How childcare workers 'can earn more in a supermarket'
Skilled childcare professionals can earn more working in their local supermarket than in a nearby crèche, according to Early Childhood Ireland.
The representative body held a pre-Budget event in Dublin yesterday, which was attended by Children's Minister Katherine Zappone along with several member of the Oireachtas.
The organisation, which represents 3,800 childcare providers, wants the Government to commit to increasing budget allocation by at least €250m.
"Despite the incredible commitment of our members, our sector is crippled because of historical, chronic underinvestment," said Frances Byrne, director of policy and advocacy with Early Childhood Ireland.
"Due to the lack of investment over many years, our providers cannot afford to pay competitive salaries or offer job security. The result is that skilled professionals are leaving the sector in their droves.
"They can earn more working in a supermarket than in their local childcare service."
According to Early Childhood Ireland, the average wage in childcare services is €11.93 an hour.