Date Released: 09 February 2017
Taoiseach Enda Kenny will receive over 100 Valentine’s Cards on Tuesday, 14th February, from Early Years professionals in County Mayo who are involved in the ‘Big Start’ campaign which is calling for major reform in the struggling sector.
SIPTU Organiser and Mayo ‘Big Start’ campaign co-ordinator, Clement Shevlin, said: “The SIPTU ‘Big Start’ campaign is calling for major reform in childcare to address the chaos that has left the sector totally demoralised. In the sector, workers with third level qualifications are on the minimum wage, providers are struggling to maintain a sustainable business and parents are struggling to afford the costs of childcare. This situation is forcing some mothers to have to choose between their job or childcare costs.”
He added: “Every one of the over 130 childcare providers in Mayo received a Valentines Card in which they can write a personal message to Enda on how this dysfunctional childcare system is letting everyone down, especially our children. Then on Valentine’s Day the cards will be hand delivered to Enda Kenny’s Constituency Office in Castlebar, County Mayo.
“We will be asking that Enda would kindly reply by letter to all his constituents and thank them for their lovely card and promise them that he will raise the issue with the appropriate government department. It’s time for Enda and the Government to show some love to the childcare sector and those who work in it.”
SIPTU Organiser and Mayo ‘Big Start’ campaign co-ordinator, Ann O’Reilly, said: “This is one of many activities taking place in Mayo and across the country by the Big Start campaigners to highlight the chaos within the sector. It has been forgotten and neglected for too long and this campaign is changing that.
“SIPTU, Irelands largest union has put huge resources into the campaign, with 20 officials working full-time on it throughout the country but change can only come when workers, providers and parents in the childcare sector pull together in one united voice to demand change.”
For regular updates on the Big Start campaign see www.bigstart.ie or follow ‘BigStartIreland’ on Facebook.