A Time For Carers


This afternoon.

In Dublin.

Childcare workers and parents take part in a protest over pay and conditions in the sector.

Last week Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone told providers that, following “legal advice”, they would lose State payments if they closed their centres in order to attend the protest.

However she reversed this decision following a public outcry.

Pics: Rollingnews June Shannon1916 Walking Tour and Gillian Brien PBP

Previously: And Your Little Dog Too

You Had The Power All Along

30 thoughts on “A Time For Carers

  1. Wilhelm

    Good for them! My son is cared for by the most amazing girls and guys. They deserve all the money in the world for the work they do.

    Time for Ireland to recognize the importance of pre-school years and take some ownership of it. I’m calling for state run kindergartens! I am calling for tax credits for working parents. I am calling for these works being rewarded for the amazing work they do.

    1. Spud


      We unfortunately saw some horrible cases like Hyde & Seek, but the vast majority are doing a wonderful job, but stressed to the hilt. Some are really losing the will to stay in the industry and I’m not surprised.

    2. MaryLou's ArmaLite


      My daughter loves her crèche and they take excellent care of her.

      Who will keep the economy going if the working parents have to stay home to mind kids

  2. curmudgeon

    Sorry do I have this right? If you unionise you can all withdraw your labour from your employer with a view to increasing your pay and conditions.

    But thats not whats happening here. They dont want to go on strike against their employer but instead want the govt to give tax money to their employers.

    And I suppose the employer MAY pass on some of this to them, after they take the juiciest cut of course.

    I reiterate – do I have this right?

    Why dont they demand to know how much the creche is earning and how much management/owners pay themselves?

    1. Chimpy

      Its the smaller childcare/montessori businesses that are really on their knees. They need more funding to keep their head above water. The insurance companies are to blame for this. English insurers left the Irish market because of Brexit, so they had to get insurance from Irish Insurers and sure they just jacked up the price which has left the smaller businesses in dire straits.

      1. curmudgeon

        How do you know this if you cannot see their books?
        The insurance problem is very real but that’s not an issue for employees just their employer. And don’t trust ANY employer giving you the poor mouth unless you can see their payslips.

    2. Wilhelm

      Perhaps creches should not be in the hands of private individuals and that Instead the state should be running kindergartens and paying the staff adequate salaries? The state has continuously failed the Irish education system. While we were busy rolling around in cash during the CelticTiger/even now, how many new schools were built? How many schools are still in prefabs?

      My son’s carers have a Masters in Montessori teaching/primary school education, yet they are probably on a tenner an hour. They will never be able to teach in an Irish primary school cos they are foreign.The work they do needs to be recognized by the state.

      1. curmudgeon

        OK so now youre saying the state should treat they the same as teachers. Thats a argument in and of itself, but is that the goal of the strike. To nationalise the childcare industry? Because thats not what this strike will do – it will simply give their employers more money – are you hoping that will trickle down to the staff or what?

        Also “The state has continuously failed the Irish education system.” – WTH does that mean – teachers are overpaid and theres way too many admin in third level and so theres no room in the budget to fix crubling infrastructure, but overall our students do pretty well.

        The big issue is the insurance industry and the govts complete lack of will to challenge it. Making the tax payer subsidise for-profit businesses (be they insurance or creche) is not the way to go.

        1. Wilhelm

          That is my argument. I really do believe that preschool years should be run by the State. The state is turning a blind eye to it and letting private businesses take care of this.

          With regard to this strike, if minimum pay conditions are introduced, money will trickle down to the staff.

          “teachers are overpaid and theres way too many admin in third level and so theres no room in the budget to fix crubling infrastructure, but overall our students do pretty well.” – I was talking more about the infrastructure, not so much about teacher salaries. My son is going into primary education next year and I am appalled by the state of many schools and the facilities that are available to them and I am talking about schools in the very affluent South Dublin postcodes. Prefabs, no proper yards, no sports facilities. No child should spend their school years in a friggin trailer.

          1. curmudgeon

            Yes as am I. But the reason for the crumbling infrastructure is the high pay and pensions of the staff.

            And I also believe that the state could quite easily make schools into child care facilities. After all that’s what they do just for ages 4 to 18.

            But no that’s not what this strike will do. And if the staff on strike are on min wage then either ask the govt to increase that (benefits all low paid workers!) Or simply strike against the employer and get very fast resolution.
            Get them to open the books (especially total revenue and directors pensions) and negotiate for a better rate.

            SIPTU seems to be enabling corporate welfare here

          2. Wilhelm

            Do you think that a small creche in rural Leitrim has director pensions and Mercs? This may be the case with the owners of the big chains like Giraffe/The Links but most creches are run as small businesses that are barely surviving.

            “Or simply strike against the employer and get very fast resolution.
            Get them to open the books (especially total revenue and directors pensions) and negotiate for a better rate.” the Dublin childcare sector is dominated by girls and guys from Spain/Italy. What do you think is going to happen when they go on strike? They will be quickly replaced by others from the same countries who are happy with the low pay conditions, desperate just to get a job. Overall it’s not that simple.

  3. 01101101 01100011

    that Catherine Zappone placquard….class!

    after what I read yesterday about her, jesus

    Catherine Shark do do do do do do

    all day long now in my head

    well done everyone, keep it up!
    stop this establishment in its tracks!!
    because they don’t work for us anymore!!

    do the right thing

    vote ANYONE but FG and FF!

  4. Andrew

    The real issue is property and the price of it. If it weren’t so expensive, one of the parents could stay at home and mind their own kids. People have been sold a pup.
    I agree with curmudgeon above. Why are these people asking their fellow taxpayer to pay. The owners of crèches are driving around in mercs.

    1. kellma

      That is one thing. However regardless of that it is often the case that both parents want to work because if you are out of the workforce for 5-10 years it can be very hard to get back into it even just psychologically and kids grow up and you cant stay at home forever. On my first maternity leave i took 11 months and I had sleepless nights in the weeks coming up to going back to work and not because i didn’t want to go back but because i was so nervous about having been out of it for so long. Imagine if you had spent the guts of a decade out!?!? It is good for the economy that people work too and that more women are in work and the supports for that are miserable. So +1 from me on the working parent tax credit and state run creches.

      1. Andrew

        “It is good for the economy that people work too and that more women are in work”

        It’s good for property prices you mean. If you like seeing the cost of housing go up and the size of houses and quality of life go down.

    2. curmudgeon

      Thanks. I reckon it’s because SIPTU know damn well that pushing a government at election time is easier than the actual job of a union rep which is to stand up against being overly exploited by their employers.

  5. Dr.Fart

    it shows how good natured the creche workers are, in that they presume their employers to be their friend and ally. those employers are already subsidised by the government, and the employers are the ones who should be paying their staff .. but there they are. marching side by side

    1. curmudgeon

      Yep and under the SUPTU banners. Thanks SIPTU, just Jack up my taxes for the benefit of business owners cheers. I’m sure creche owners won’t take a cent for themselves and it will all be passed on to the workers…

    2. Molly

      a quarter of childcare is made of community non-profit settings, these early years educators are also on minimum wage. So why are they not getting paid more? You might think there is a lot of money to be made in childcare in Ireland but you would be shocked at just how many small private childcare settings struggle each day. With increasing regulation and insurance costs they are being forced to close their doors. Ireland contributes the lowest GDP (0.1%) in the whole of Europe to the early years sector. This is on par with developing countries. Its time people wake up in this country and demand our children and their early years educators be valued and recognised as much as they are in other many other developed countries.

      1. curmudgeon

        Would it not be better to increase the minimum wage thereby enabling a better life for ALL low paid workers instead of a select few?

        Would it not be better to make the creches in receipt of public money have to reveal their books so we the tax payers AND their workers can see what the real story is and in whose pockets exactly all this public money is going into?

        Rather than lazily fleecing the taxpayer for the benefit of the business owner… Again

        1. Wilhelm

          Would it not be better to increase the minimum wage thereby enabling a better life for ALL low paid workers instead of a select few? – not all minimum wage jobs require well educated staff. Some m*ron digging ditches for a living is most likely earning more than an experienced childcare worker whose job is to educate(!!!) our children. So no, the min wage does not need to be increased.

          see what the real story is and in whose pockets exactly all this public money is going into = Public funding forms a part of a creche’s income. It’s mostly funded by parents. We pay 1000 euro a month. The government then also gives the creche the funding for the ECCE scheme, which in our case is around 160 a month. My family pays f*ckload in taxes and we are happy the money goes towards the education of our child. I do not have the “entitled taxpayer” chip on my shoulder. I want the girls and guys looking after my son to be recognized for the hard work they do.

          Do you have any children in a creche? Because I don’t think you are aware of the realities.

          1. curmudgeon

            Wow you just showed yourself up for the entitled bottomhole you are. You dare denigrate manual workers doing an honest days work and who do not receive govt subsidised wages and instead you want to give their taxes to private companies that are under paying their staff. Wow

          2. Wilhelm

            Spectacular response. I don’t think issues around childcare are on your radar at all. Your agenda appears to be completely different.

            Early years education is a complex and historical issue. Up until the 90s kids were a mother’s problem, because you know Catholic teachings and misogyny, so the state could sigh in relief that they had to do nothing. The reality now is that women want to be in the workforce, it benefits the economy, the society and the individual. The result is private childcare providers because the market is there but the parents who pay high fees get no tax breaks and the educators are underpaid for the responsibilities they have.

            Want to do it right? Get the state to take over pre schools and pay these people the money they deserve. Hopefully this strike is just the first step towards it

  6. Adam

    The creche my daughter is in just raised €5m to expand into England. Yet they fully support the creche workers campaign to be paid more. Couldn’t make it up.

    1. curmudgeon

      “Fully support them to be paid more”…just not out of their pockets. Oh and the money must go through them first so they can take their cut. FFS

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