Dear Minister Zappone,
We are writing to you in relation to the proposed Covid-19 Early Years scheme that is currently in development.
Though engagement with your department we understand that under the proposed scheme:
· Staff will be paid in full 70% through social welfare and 30% service top up by the DCYA to account for their full wage, or up to a limit of €608
· Self-employed providers can receive €350 per week under the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
· No fees will be asked for by parents and all places will be held
· The new scheme will last 12 weeks
· After 12 week, and provided services are allowed to open, all staff will be reinstated to former contracts and be removed off the dole
These measures are very welcome, however we gravely concerned ability of some services to remain open during this period. Therefore we are requesting the following amendments be made:
· The 15% top-up payment to providers be increased to 30% to help providers sustain business overheads.
· Each owner/co-owner/manager would receive a payment of €608 per week
· A revised short term contract (up to 12 weeks or the return of children to services) whichever is the sooner. Upon which our existing contract payment details return and clarification that the short term contract will not ask providers to trade as insolvent.
· Together for Early Years receives a copy of the contract for review before it is released.
· Together for Early Years requests that going forward a representative from this body be included in all consultation processes held in relation to this matter.
Eleanor Ostrom Nobel Prize Lauret in Economy Science in co-design principals states “effective group management leading to economic success can be achieved if there is a collective choice arrangement, where everybody who is effected by the decision has an opportunity to contribute to making that decision. Rules should be adapted to local conditions, which ensure that group members experience proportional equivalence between benefits and costs”. (Prosocial,2019)
We are all conscious that at this time, the world is redefining itself and strongly feel that the above points, allow us as EY members to address effective measures to ensure economic success in the future.
We are looking for a meeting with the members of DCYA as a matter of urgency on this matter.
The Together for Early Years Forum