Childhood Services Ireland, the Ibec group representing the Irish childcare sector, is currently in consultation with the Department of Children to ensure the childcare sector can cope with current Covid-19 restrictions potentially being extended beyond January 31st.
Childhood Services Ireland has worked closely with the Department throughout January to secure sustainability funding for the sector which allowed certain services to remain open for the children of frontline and essential workers and vulnerable children.
According to Childhood Services Ireland’s director, Darragh Whelan, the entire sector is working towards sustainable progress through the pandemic.
“The childcare sector is committed to playing its part in this national emergency. It is crucial that if the current restrictions are extended beyond January 31st that childcare remains open for the children of frontline and essential workers and vulnerable children. We also need to carefully look at an earlier roll-out of the vaccine for childcare professionals, particularly as they are caring for the children of healthcare and other frontline workers. It won’t be easy, but we are committed to working constructively with the Department to make it happen.”
Mr Whelan added: “In the past few weeks we have worked with the Department to ensure sustainability funding was secured for childcare providers who were remaining open exclusively for the children of frontline and essential workers. A similar solution will be needed beyond January 31st should restrictions be extended beyond that date, particularly for those services who may have to remain closed. The situation is very uncertain as to how the pandemic will develop in the next two weeks, but we are doing all we can to help childcare providers through it. We are working closely with the Department to ensure that these issues are addressed appropriately and in good time’’