News & Media

Urgent action needed on Childcare for vital Healthcare Workers

4 April 2020

Statement by Sean Sherlock TD
Spokesperson on Justice, Children and Youth Affairs

Labour spokesperson on Children, Seán Sherlock TD., has said the childcare problem for essential healthcare workers needs to be urgently addressed by Government.

Deputy Sherlock continued:

“I’m really concerned by reports today that many healthcare workers feel they’re at ‘breaking point’ when it comes to trying to arrange suitable care for their children.

“Healthcare workers are on the frontline fighting this pandemic and are absolutely vital to our national efforts in this regard.

“But many are also parents whose children need to be looked after safely, and like the thousands of parents across the country, they too are feeling the effects of the closures of crèches and schools.

“For single parents this is particularly difficult to navigate and we all know that grandparents helping out is not an option at the moment.

“Never before has the vital role of childcare in this country been so evident

“However we’re now weeks into this public health emergency and the closure of our schools and crèches but have still not seen any plans from Government on how to address the childcare issue for our key workers.

“There have been some calls for childcare professionals or teachers to step in for those workers that need it during the crisis, and I know there are groups on social media already doing this privately.

 “If we look at countries like Canada for example, there are emergency childcare facilities open for essential workers.

"The Government here needs to get moving on this and treat the childcare issue for essential workers with urgency; our frontline workers are already under enough pressure and stress as it is.”