SIPTU members campaigned hard to make Early Years sector a priority in the last election.
Our demands are clear and consistent; we want pay scales that recognise our work, greater public investment and a new funding model.
This will deliver our shared vision for a high quality, affordable and accessible Early Years sector.
If the Programme for Government agreed this week by Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party is adopted, it will represent progress towards achieving this vision.
But we need to make sure the new government delivers funding for a Sectoral Employment Order and better pay.
Programme for Government
The Programme for Government is a step in the right direction.
It commits to make “a career in childcare more attractive” and “support staff retention”; this means better pay for educators and managers.
There is also a commits to develop “career paths for childcare staff”.
Government will also introduce a “long-term sustainable funding model that promotes quality, better outcomes for children” in consultation with educators, providers and parents.
There are also welcome pledges to increase investment, implement First 5 and establish an Early Years Agency.
Keeping Up The Pressure
Getting commitments in the Programme for Government is a win; but our work isn’t finished.
We need the next Government to deliver real change.
By building our union we can hold Government to account and make sure that it delivers funding for pay, quality and sustainability.
The disgrace of poverty pay has to end once and for all.
If you haven’t already done so, you can join SIPTU here.
The 29th of June will be a big day for many children, educators and providers and it’s understandable there are a lot of questions.
That’s why we have set up a Covid-19 Helpline.
If you have any questions or queries, you can contact your local SIPTU Organiser (or call 01–9617100), Monday to Friday between 10am and 5pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With over 6,000 members, SIPTU is now a strong position to advocate the Early Years profession.
By working with other progressive groups we can transform our profession for the better.