The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called for the introduction of new entry-level pay for childcare professionals at the Living Wage rate of €11.50 per hour and for investment in the sector to be brought in line with the 1% of GDP benchmark recommended by UNICEF, from its current level of 0.2%.
This follows the publication of a new Congress report on the problems facing the childcare sector in Ireland, highlighting how low wages and poor career progression for childcare professionals has resulted in staff turnover rates of over 22%.
Along with the introduction of the Living Wage and increased public investment, the Congress report also calls for paid parental leave of six months and an increase in employer PRSI to 13.75% on the portion of salaries above €100,000, with the resulting funds ring-fenced for childcare provision.
The Congress report – Who Cares: Report on Childcare Costs and Practices – found that the low public investment in Ireland has contributed to childcare costs that are among the highest in the EU.
According to the report’s main author, Dr Peter Rigney, “there have been significant policy failures on childcare that have led us to the worst of both worlds: high cost care provided by some of the lowest paid workers. Socially and economically this is unsustainable and will ultimately cost us in the long run.”
Read more HERE.
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