Who Pays for Quality Early Years?

“No body wants to work in a sector… if they cannot afford the fundamentals of life”, but this is the reality facing many working in Early Years.

On average an Early Years Educator earns just €11.19 per hour, and a manager just €14.99 per hour. These are way below the rates of pay recommended by MERCER. Little wonder we are in the middle of a staffing crisis.

The Early Years Sector needs a pay rise — the questions is, who pays?

Who pays?

Parents can’t afford to pay more and most providers don’t have the money for pay increases.

Only the government has the resources and duty to support high quality, affordable Early Years that pays a decent wage — and they have made some big commitments.

The recent First 5 Strategy committed government to doubling investment over the next 10 years, from the current €574m to over €1 Billion; enough to make a real change.

However, when it comes to pay, government need a guarantee that increased funding will go to educators.

The Plan

SIPTU has a plan to win better pay and funding.

By establishing a Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) the Early Years sector will be able to set minimum rates of pay and conditions for staff. It will also give government the guarantee it needs to invest more money.

Even Minister Zappone is saying it; at a recent Early Years Forum she said that “increased investment from Government will be necessary to support an SEO”. She went on to stressed that urgent action was required from the sector.

There is no ‘Plan B’.

Winning our first SEO

To establish an SEO we need 1/3 of Early Years workers to join SIPTU.

We are well over the halfway mark to our target, but every single person counts at this stage. The sooner we reach our target the sooner we can improve pay and conditions.

All those that have joined SIPTU so far are waiting on the rest of the sector to get on board. If you are not already a member of SIPTU, you can join the campaign here.

It’s time to take a stand for Early Years, together we can make this happen.

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