Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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Great Start for Big Start

Archive Statements > 2017 - April-June

Great Start for 'Big Start'
11th May 2017

I attended the County Wicklow launch of a nationwide campaign entitled ‘Big Start’ at which I learned of the deep and genuine concerns of Early Years Education Providers and Educators in County Wicklow regarding their present situation.

I was highly impressed with the professionalism and dedication of all the people who attended the meeting and I was thoroughly shocked to realise the abysmally low rates of payment in the Early Years sector at present.

As we all know, the quality of a child’s future development is inextricably linked to the provision of excellent early years education. I believe strongly that excellent early years education is being provided but it is not valued at all by this Government. I do not believe that provision of child care places is sufficient of itself. The Minister and the Government should be also committed to ensuring that the education provided at this level is excellent and is rewarded properly. This is vital both for the welfare of our children and our nation but also for the rights of the 23,000 providers and educators , the vast majority of whom are women.

I am calling on the Minister for Children and her colleagues in Government to fund a proper salary structure for early years educators and providers and to support providers in their vital work of administration and leadership in this sector.

I believe the children of this country deserve the highest standard of early years education and those who provide and deliver this education should be rewarded properly for the magnificent work they do.

Cllr. Joe Behan


Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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