A number of creches across the country have shut their doors for the next three days.
The members of the Federation of Early Childhood Providers say high costs and a staffing crisis is impacting the sector.
Representatives from both Carlow and Kilkenny are heading to Dublin to protest outside the Dáil, among them is Lorna Mulcahy who owns Marbles in Kilkenny city.
She says that this is action they don’t want to have to take telling KCLR News; “It wasn’t an easy decision by any means but unfortunately it has come to this that we have no choice really, basically the core funding is not working for my business in particular, along with a load of other settings, but it’s just not covering costs for me and my wage bill obviously, mortgage, commercial rates, everything, as every other family is being hit with increased bills and everything seems to be going up”.
She adds “I cannot put up my fees to parents or anything like that because I’m in a contract with this core funding so I obviously need it to cover my staff costs and everything else, the daily running of the business which is through the roof at the minute, so I have no choice because it’s not working for my business at the moment, the core funding, it’s not covering costs”.
Lorna really struggled with the decision to close, noting “I don’t want to do this to my parents, you know, we have lovely families and the majority of them they’re friends, family, we don’t like doing this to our families whatsoever but I don’t want to have to come at Christmas and say I’m sorry I’m not going to be reopening in January I just cannot do this anymore”.
Some of the childcare providers and supporting parents who formed part of today’s protest in Dublin seeking more supports for the sector, many of them feom #Carlow and #Kilkenny pic.twitter.com/6Xt7ZSOBQM
— Edwina Grace/Éadaoin de Grás (@edwinagrace) September 26, 2023
Carlow Kilkenny TD John McGuinness says Government need to hear what the group has to say as “So many parents that now rely on this service and really governments need to look to the expansion of the service, the proper funding of that service and in dealing with the issues that have been raised by the providers and by the parents, it’s essential in a modern economy, a society where people want to work that they have the services that allow them to take time out to go and work”.
He insists “I will be supporting them by way of raising this issue as I have done over the last 18 months with the Minister, insisting that further investment be set aside in the Budget to continue the support of the sector and then to look at the plans that should be put in place for the ongoing funding and expansion of the service”.
And the local FF Deputy also says “The workers are critical in the delivery of the service, the service itself is critical in the context of the society and the type of society that we now live in so I will be supporting them in their ask of the minister and I will be raising it in the Dáil and indeed at parliamentary party meetings and that’s what most TDs will do”.