Childcare reopening plan ‘unsustainable’, providers say

Industry group says it will need financial assistance to operate for frontline workers only

The group has written to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Roderic O’Gorman.

The group has written to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Roderic O’Gorman.

 

Childcare providers have written to the Government to say they will require financial assistance to keep their doors open.

Childhood Services Ireland, the trade association for childcare providers, have said it will be “extremely difficult” for many providers to keep services open for so few children, with some services reporting that they will have to operate at a loss.

The group has written to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Roderic O’Gorman to appeal for his Department’s help in keeping childcare services open for the children of frontline and essential workers and vulnerable children.

Childhood Services Ireland director Darragh Whelan said: “We wrote to the Minister to point out that the childcare sector in Ireland is committed to playing its part in this national emergency.

“Providing safe childcare services to our nurses, doctors and other frontline and essential workers is critical in keeping our health service running and our providers are ready and willing to play their part, but they need urgent assistance from Minister O’Gorman and his Department to do this.”

Mr Whelan said it was up to individual providers about whether to offer refunds to parents of children who are not attending services, but that there was pressure on providers from Government to do so.

“While we wholeheartedly welcome the Government’s decision to keep childcare open for the children of frontline and essential workers and vulnerable children, this will mean hugely reduced occupancy, and therefore hugely reduced income for providers,” he said.

“This is simply unsustainable and will place a significant financial burden on providers after an extremely difficult year. If additional funding is not available, our fear is that the childcare sector will not be able to remain open.”

Childhood Services Ireland is the Ibec trade association representing childcare providers across Ireland.