Seas Suas welcomes core funding but urges childcare sector caution

Seas Suas, the organisation representing independent and early learning and full day care providers, has welcomed the introduction of Core Funding and the Employment Regulation Order (ERO ) by the Government - however, the organisation is also calling on the Government to increase capitation for all services delivering the ECCE scheme.

“We have campaigned for many years for further investment by government in the Early Learning and Care sector to make childcare more affordable for parents, to support better pay and conditions for staff and provide sustainability for providers. We welcome the Employment Regulation Order (ERO ) announced by government which will ensure pay and conditions for staff, provide career progression and help to attract and retain staff in the sector.

“However, providers have sustainability concerns about payment for all services. Capitation has only increased once since the introduction of the ECCE scheme in 2010. It is crucial that capitation for ECCE and other childcare schemes are kept in line with inflation and the cost of running a childcare service to ensure sustainability of the sector.

“When providers agreed to Core Funding and to keep their fees at the same rate as September 2021 we had no idea what was coming down the tracks in relation to the inflation, particularly the cost of heat and electricity. If the Government is going to support schools with those costs they will also have to support full day care providers to ensure they remain sustainable,” Regina Bushell, Chair, Seas Suas and MD, Grovelands Childcare, said.

Seas Suas acknowledge the enormous work put in by providers over the last few weeks to complete Core Funding documentation.

“We are looking to the future to working together for the good of all involved in a new partnership with Minister Roderic O’Gorman and his team in DCEDIY and with Pobal. Together we can make childcare and early education work for everyone,” Ms Bushell concluded.

 

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