News & Media

Childcare solution for healthcare professionals must be put forward this week

6 April 2020

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Health

Labour Party Leader, Alan Kelly TD, has said the Government must urgently produce their long-awaited childcare solution for healthcare professionals.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Schools and creches have been closed since March 13th and nearly a month on many healthcare workers still have no fixed solutions surrounding childcare.

“Many frontline healthcare workers are relying on the kindness of their friends, families and neighbours as a temporary stopgap for childcare provision. This is not a viable, long-term solution as those who are providing the childcare may get sick or have to deal with the unknown unknowns of their lives.

“Many healthcare professionals who have made Ireland their home and are far away from their families and close friends don’t have the same option of availing of childcare from their relatives or their community networks as many Irish healthcare professionals do. This is putting enormous stress and strain on many workers.

“We know from the INMO, that many nurses are paying up to €100 per day for childcare at this time. In any normal circumstance that is excessive, but particularly now when they are putting their lives on the line to look after sick and vulnerable people.

“As I have said time and time again, our healthcare workers are our heroes in all of this and we must do everything we can to make their lives easier at this incredibly difficult time.

“It’s not surprising that many frontline health staff feel like they are led down the garden path when it comes to childcare. At one of the first COVID-19 briefings I attended, childcare provision for healthcare workers was described as a priority issue. We have yet to see any workable solution from Government.

“The INMO are calling for the Government to provide their members and indeed other healthcare workers with an affordable childcare solution at this difficult time. The Labour Party completely supports this call, my colleagues and I have been very vocal on this. I will be raising it as a matter of priority at this week’s briefing for opposition leaders.”