Unelected Zappone Damaging the Future of the Childcare Sector
Aontú Cllr Emer Tóibín has decried the damage being done to the childcare sector by a Minister for Children rejected by the people, and who has consistently ignored the warnings from childcare businesses and representative organisations at the coal face should these disastrous policies continue.
Cllr Tóibín: “Having spoken with childcare businesses in my own constituency and across the country, the complete absence of financial supports for their businesses and the endless spin from the Minister have left the sector demoralised, without a voice, and with an even more uncertain future. Businesses have described incurring losses beginning at €20’000. Many businesses have closed their doors for good, and more will follow. Business owners are losing their livelihoods, staff their living, children their school places.”
“If the DCYA do not act immediately to support the childcare sector and provide adequate financing to businesses in the sector – else come September, there simply won’t be a childcare sector to meet the influx of children and demands of parents. ECCE payments must resume, alongside other payments such as AIM funding. Additionally, there must financing to address the severe costs and debts incurred by businesses throughout the pandemic. Childcare facilities cannot simply raise their fees to recoup losses as other industries can, and were they to do so – this would represent a significant barrier to accessing education for many. Neither children nor childcare facilities should be detrimented by the negligence and failures of the incumbent Minister.”
“It goes without saying that an unelected Minister should not be making decisions with such a detrimental impact upon the sector. The fact this is occurring is particularly galling for those in the childcare sector. The government must remove Minister Zappone and preclude her doing anymore damage to the sector, and move to fully fund the childcare sector to ensure its survival.”