Childcare for essential workers


A chara, – The Taoiseach and the Minster of Health have repeatedly expressed their gratitude to healthcare and essential service workers for the work they are doing during this crisis. But the best way they could express this gratitude would be to organise childcare for these workers.

I find it shameful that in the sixth week of the lockdown, Ireland still is not providing a childcare solution for these people who are putting themselves on the line every day on our behalf. The unsatisfactory rationale for this gap is that the National Public Health Emergency Team is not comfortable with childcare workers going into people’s homes.

Why haven’t other options been explored and implemented? Many countries have opened schools and creches solely for these workers. There are so few children involved that there appears to be no problem social distancing them in facilities designed for much larger numbers. The measure announced on Thursday to allow paid leave for partners in the public sector is ridiculous. It helps only a small number of people and drives a rift between public and private sector workers. It appears that the Government, as usual when it comes to childcare, is simply closing its eyes and hoping that workers solve the problem themselves. It is too much to expect of people and shows little respect for the hard work they are doing on our behalf. It also reduces the number of people available to work in these essential services.

Just this once, can they not sort this out? – Is mise,


Windy Arbour,

Dublin 14.