Sinn Féin TD for Offaly and North Tipperary, Carol Nolan TD, has asked all TDs to support the motion put forward by Sinn Féin in relation to working conditions in the early years sector.
“There is currently a growing crisis regarding staff in the early years sector. The ever increasing burden of administration work for staff without adequate time, pay or resources is causing huge staff turnover and a shortage of skilled workers," Nolan said.
“Thousands of staff in this sector are forced to sign on every year for the summer months despite the fact that many hold professional qualifications at degree level."
“Despite the fact that the Government is demanding higher professional standards from early years services, the level of funding provided does not match these aspirations," she continued.
“In fact there is little to incentivise highly qualified degree level workers into the sector for minimum wage pay and limited career prospects. I believe central to this debate is the vision for the future of this sector."
“International research shows that high quality early childhood care and education is beneficial to young children at the foundation stage of their development."
“As a teacher by profession, I am only too aware of the impact of the critical early years, particularly for children who experience disadvantage. The international benchmark of expenditure on the early years sector is 1% of GDP and this state spends half this amount."
“To me that says it all and I hope that deputies will give this sector the respect it deserves and support this motion,” she concluded.
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