Childcare Low-Pay in Comparison

Michael Taft, SIPTU Researcher 2019.

1. The following compares pay in the Early Years Education and Care sector with pay in other low-paid sectors in Ireland. The following refers to wages and salaries only.

2. Eurostat provides a breakdown of economic sectors into 64 sub-sectors. Childcare is not one of them so childcare pay cannot be compared with other countries. The data comes from 2016. The following table includes the 20 lowest paid sectors. These sectoral categories include all employees: managers, professionals, white and blue-collar employees.

Ireland Wages and Salaries per hour: 2016 (€ per hour)

A number of points arising from this table:

· Of all the low-paid sectors, childcare is the lowest. It should be noted that it is the lowest among this breakdown. There is no further detailed breakdown.

· Childcare pay per hour is 53% below average pay for all employees.

· Pay in the childcare sector would have to rise by 11.4% just to reach the next lowest-paid sector — restaurants.

None of this refers to weekly, monthly or annual income. There is no data on hours worked in the childcare sector.

It should be further noted that childcare workers have a far higher level part-time employment than in other low-paid sectors. This is a strong indicator of ultra-low pay and precariousness.

Part-Time Employment as a % of Total Employment: 2016

Childcare workers in the community sector have the highest level of part-time work. In the private sector, childcare workers still have an elevated level of part-time work.

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