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Pay increases for childcare sector after agreement

A new pay agreement will see wage increases for thousands of early learning and childcare workers.

The Employment Regulation Orders for the Early Years Services Sector will commence on 24 June and will increase the minimum hourly rates of pay for various roles in the sector.

The orders apply to around 33,000 educators and it is estimated that 53% of those working in the sector will see their wages rise as a result of the agreement.

Early Years Educators and School Age Childcare Practitioners will see their hourly minimum rate of pay increase from €13 to €13.65.

Lead Educators and School Age Childcare Coordinators will see rates go from €14 to €14.70 an hour.

Minimum rates for Graduate Centre Managers will rise from €17.25 to €18.11 an hour.

Unions and employer groups, who are members of a Joint Labour Committee (JLC), held a series of meetings to discuss the review of the Employment Regulation Orders for the childcare sector.

SIPTU had proposed that the minimum hourly wage rate for employees in early years education be raised from €13 to €15.

However, childcare providers have warned that they may have had to increase fees for parents to cover pay rises that go beyond the rate of inflation.

Many providers have agreed to freeze their fees to avail of the Government’s core funding scheme.

“The Early Years Services Joint Labour Committee is a good example of how effective the reformed Joint Labour Committee system can be when representatives of employees and employers voluntarily negotiate together to identify a mutually beneficial agreement,” said Minister of State for Business Employment and RetailEmer Higgins.

“I am very pleased to approve these Employment Regulation Orders which will improve the hourly pay rates of approximately 33,000 educators in the early learning and childcare sector,” Ms Higgins said.

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman welcomed the new pay deal.

“While I very much welcome this, I recognise that pay in the sector still remains relatively low, however I remain committed to supporting further improvements in pay and conditions and aim to do this through Core Funding which, this year alone will increase by 15% to €331 million on last years allocation,” Mr O’Gorman said.

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