The Workers’ Party has today called for the state to take control of the entire pre-school education system.

Workers’ Party representative Éilis Ryan stated that:

“We obviously welcome the fact that so many poorly paid workers in the for-profit preschool sector will have a guaranteed income during this time of crisis. However, we now have the ridiculous situation that an entire sector, operating on the basis of maximising private profit, which already benefits from a hefty State subsidy is now being 100% bank-rolled by the tax-payer. 

“The real beneficiaries of this government intervention are actually the private and company owners of creches and preschools.”

She continued: 

“The childcare and pre-school education sector is notorious for low pay, poor working conditions and providing a very uneven service for the parents and young children in their care. It sucks huge amounts of money from both the taxpayer and the pockets of parents. And now, even after the present massive subsidy they still have the begging bowl out looking for more.

“The present crisis, and the need for the State to rush in with a huge cash subsidy, has shown that our childcare and preschool education system is presently untenable. It offers neither security to children, parents or workers. It is not a nationwide service and it is not an equal service.” 

She concluded: 

“On the other hand the public service has almost two centuries of experience in providing a nationwide education service to every child in the country between the ages of four and sixteen. 

“The only logical step now for the government and the people of this country is for that public system to be extended to cover the child-care and preschool sector.”