‘Restore €2 taken from ECCE capitation.’
Sligo News File Online.
Fianna Fail Senator Marc MacSharry joined the Early Childhood Educators from Sligo attending the Association of Childhood Professional Rally outside Dáil Eireann yesterday. The senator, who is supporting the Early Years Professionals fight for greater investment in the sector, is also calling for the immediate return of the €2 taken from the ECCE capitation.
Highlighting the need for direct investment, he said the funding was crucial to maintaining staff wages and running costs of the service. Investment should as well provide for additional capitation to support the inclusion of children with additional needs, he said.
In their campaign, the Association of Childhood Professionals is seeking to highlight the importance of early childhood education and care and the vital role played by childhood professionals in supporting the children and families in the foundation stage of development. To date, the Association said, the “foundation stage has mainly been seen within the domain of the family rather than the societal domain and this thinking needs to change.
“The foundation stage must be recognised within the life long continuum of care and education framework.”
Senator MacSharry, with party colleague Robert Troy, TD, is a strong supporter of the “early years” and the employers and employees who, he said, because of the prevailing low wages, are subsidising the early childhood education and care system in Ireland. There is also voluntary time given to meetings with parents, the admnistration and maintenance of the facility and other duties. He said it is clear they can no longer afford to do this, and is now calling on the government to “take action immediately before it is too late.”