Creches and childcare

 

Sir, – While the establishment of an early-years agency would be a welcome development (Letters, August 3rd), it would not address the big issues at the heart of Ireland’s childcare sector – high-quality care for children and affordability for parents.

Government has rightly committed to doubling spending on childcare over the next 10 years. However, without reforming the Government’s funding model, this would not deliver the change Ireland needs.

Most providers, both private and not-for-profit, put quality at the heart of their service. But, for some, childcare is a business where maximising profit is the top priority.

We therefore need to answer some fundamental questions about the purpose and ethos of childcare, particularly in anticipation of much-needed spending increases.

Is childcare a public good where quality is the top priority, or is it a business for investors to make a return?

More than 4,000 childcare professionals who have joined Siptu know the answer and will continue to campaign for real change.

What is absolutely certain is that when parents pay the most expensive childcare fees in Europe, and most workers earn below the living wage, the system is in need of radical reform. – Yours, etc,

DARRAGH

O’CONNOR,

Siptu,

Liberty Hall,

Dublin 1.