Educator: Early Childcare Education Sector Underfunded For Years

The Early Childcare Education sector has been underfunded for years.

That’s according to one Cork early childcare educator.

John Bowman of BEL Childcare in Douglas was reacting to the new Core Funding scheme which childcare providers are being asked to accept.

The new Core Funding Model was announced by the Department of Children and Youth last month.

The Federation of Early Childcare Providers surveyed 1,000 providers and found that 56 said their services will not stay open based on the current model.

The 221-million-euro fund is dependent on two main terms – that two thirds of the money will go toward staff wages and that providers must agree not to raise their fees above 2021 levels.

The Federation says the funding model will mean some providers will make a loss or just break even.

John Bowman told RedFM News that Third Level education is treated much better:

“To give you an idea of where we are in the pecking order, Simon Harris was able to go in and get €300 odd million agreed for the third level sector with what looked like the bat of an eye. We’ve been fighting tooth and nail to try and get money into the Early Childcare sector, which arguably is more important than the third level because it gives people a solid base. And we’re suddenly getting it and it’s coming with all the strings. The ECCE scheme which came in and allowed free access to children over three for 15 hours, 38 weeks a year. The capitation from that has barely increased in the 12 years since it has come in. It certainly hasn’t kept pace with inflation”.


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