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Tuesday, 26th May 2020

Essential workers need a cast iron guarantee on childcare - Hall

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Councillor Michelle Hall.

Labour Councillor Michelle Hall has warned of a ‘ticking time bomb’ facing essential workers returning to work on June 29 who, she said, need a cast iron guarantee on childcare.

Her warning comes after Labour's Spokesperson on Justice, Children and Youth Affairs, Seán Sherlock TD, raised the issue in the Dáil with the Minister for Children after the collapse of the scheme for healthcare workers

“With more and more workplaces reopening, working parents will be looking ahead to when they too are due to return to work but there is a ‘ticking time bomb’ for those who are due back before crèches reopen” Cllr. Hall said.

"Working parents need a cast iron guarantee that the childcare scheme for essential workers will be up and running from 29 June. Seán Sherlock pressed the Minister in the Dáil last week to give that commitment after the collapse of the plan for frontline healthcare workers, and while she said there would be a scheme, we have yet to see any of the details of it.

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"Parents, and women in particular are being put under huge pressure on childcare. The CSO has It found that more women than men are caring for a dependent family member or friend because of the COVID-19 crisis. It also found that women are more likely to report childcare issues related to the COVID-19 crisis ... and women are finding it more difficult to work from home because of family being around.

“I appreciate the obvious difficulties when it comes to childcare and public health measures such as social distancing particularly among very young children, so we need to ensure that every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ crossed in this regard; the health and safety of children and workers is paramount.

“We need a clear and coherent plan for the reopening of the childcare sector as a whole that takes all these issues into account; the Government needs to show a real sense of urgency on this."

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