Union says childcare staffing crisis driven by low pay not lack of qualified staff

Ireland

The SIPTU trade union says that figures released by the Department of Further and Higher Education confirm that the staffing crisis in childcare in not driven by a lack of qualified educators but by pay levels that are so low that many workers have to leave their chosen profession. Around 6000 workers get childcare qualifications each year and the union argues that this should be enough to provide suitable staff for the 26000 posts that require a qualification. However, SIPTU highlights the fact that early years educators earn on average just €11.91 per hour, 99 cents below the living wage of €12.90 and argues that thousands of people who qualify each year simply cannot afford to work in their profession. The union is calling on early years providers to tackle the problem in the upcoming pay talks at the Early Years Joint Labour Committee.

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