Closure of childcare facilities 'swept under the rug'

Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has slammed the government over what he describes as 'the appalling mistreatment of the childcare sector and the complete lack of regard for at least 180 childcare facilities that have been forced to shut their doors due the lack of support'.

He hit out: “The childcare sector which is charged with the care and development of the next generation of Irish people is chaos.

“The sector has been under phenomenal pressure for the last number of years with tens of thousands having to take to the streets.

“However, shockingly according to information that I have received from the sector itself, 180 providers have closed since the start of the pandemic.

“As many as 10% of child care providers have shutdown all ready due to the lack of support.

"And the closures are accelerating. In the last week alone it has been reported to me that 55 childcare providers have closed.

“One of the biggest concerns is what’s happening to the children with no voice.

"Many children with additional needs have been abandoned.

"It's estimated that there are 7,000 children with additional needs in the sector, many who have been sitting at home without a service for five months.

“These children more than most need professional educators and routine.

"Their parents also need the respite that comes with the service. This is not happening.”