Minister O’Gorman is pushing the Smaller Childcare and ECCE Sector towards Collapse - Tóibín
Speaking at the Childcare and ECCE protest outside the Dáil today the Aontú Leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín stated;
“We are on the precipice of collapse in the Smaller Childcare and ECCE sector. I cannot overstate the seriousness of this. And its not happening by accident. In 2019 there were 77 net closures. In 2020 there were 70 net closures. In 2021 there were net 62 services that closed. So far this year there have been 80 net closures of services. It is estimated that next year when the new funding model bites hard there will be 226 closures”.
“I have never seen anything like it. Businesses are closing down on a weekly basis. The Minister for Children seems to be oblivious to what’s happening. It’s a car crash in slow motion. I have raised this over and over in the Dáil and yet he does not understand that different businesses in the sector have different business models, that they have different cost bases and different break even points. The Cost Base of these businesses has radically increased. The level of administration has massively increased. Many Early Year services have not increased their fees since 2016. The government has ignored this. Ireland is one of the lowest funded countries in the EU in terms of Childcare. This government spends .2% GDP on Childcare and Early Years Education in comparison to a European average of 1.2%”.
“Childcare and ECCE businesses are leaving the Childcare sector. Energy companies are pulling out of the energy market. Landlords are pulling out of the rental market, banks are leaving the banking market, nursing home providers are leaving the Nursing Home sector. The Government are distorting so much of economy and as a result we see incredible dysfunction, bottlenecks and capacity crisis all over society”.
“The Minister for Children states that the sector is discommoding parents. The Minister’s stubbornness is discommoding parents. 11,000 parents have signed a petition in support of the Childcare Sector and their battle with the Minister. His actions are actively closing businesses down especially In rural Ireland. Not only are these businesses being damaged, but whole swathes of Ireland will be without any childcare or ECCE service. I urge the Minister to meet with the sector with a real proposal that will allow these businesses survive the economic crisis”.