Inviso Img

A Number Of Créches May Not Be Able Open In September, According To Leo Varadkar

Doubt has been cast on the capacity of créches to cope with possible demand when they are set to reopen fully in September.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has suggested to the Dáil that a number of childcare facilities may not reopen their doors in September. 

According to RTÉ, Varadkar said that some 40% of créches may not be able to provide services later in the year, continuing by saying the Government wants to ensure the sector is "fully up and running" by the autumn to meet demand.

"60% of the existing services have indicated they will be reopening by September and this portion may rise", he told the Dáil. 

This was his response to Aontú's Peadar Tóibín who told the Dáil that seven childcare providers in Dublin have closed in the past 24 hours, with fears that more will follow suit. 

Chairperson of the Federation of Early Childhood provider Elaine Dunne echoed this on Twitter by saying: "Just found out in the last hour another three services [have] closed south Dublin. Six in one day. This is a disaster for parents," she wrote.

"No places available anywhere ... Services dropping like flies. We need an emergency meeting with our new minister. Parents distraught no places. We have to get emergency funding to save our sector."

Earlier in the week, the COVID-19 Dáil committee estimated that in order to bring childcare services up to the best practice Scandinavian model of State-funded childcare, up to €2 billion of government investment would be needed. 

Labour spokesman on children Sean Sherlock subsequently called for a citizens’ assembly on childcare, stating that a more coherent voice was required.

Many créches reopened around the country on June 29 with a number of COVID-19 preventative measure in place such as staggered arrival times, shoe sanitising and handwashing stations.

Guidelines also advised against parents entering the premises and staff physically interacting with children unless the child initiates. 

READ MORE: Social Distancing Will Not Be Mandatory For Primary School Students, According To The Dept Of Education

READ MORE: Primary Schools Are Planning To Reopen In August