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, with an estimated 53% of them seeing 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, while the minimum rates for Graduate Centre Managers will rise from €17.25 to €18.11 an hour.

Unions and employer groups, members of a Joint Labour Committee (JLC), held meetings to discuss the review of the Employment Regulation Orders for the childcare sector. SIPTU had proposed a higher minimum hourly wage rate, but childcare providers have expressed concerns about potentially having to increase fees for parents to cover pay rises beyond the rate of inflation.

Minister of State for Business Employment and Retail Emer Higgins approved the Employment Regulation Orders, highlighting the importance of the agreement in improving the hourly pay rates of approximately 33,000 educators in the early learning and childcare sector. Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman welcomed the new pay deal, emphasizing the government’s commitment to supporting further improvements in pay and conditions through increased Core Funding.

SIPTU Head of Strategic Organising Darragh O’Connor praised the new Employment Regulation Order, emphasizing the 5% increase in minimum rates of pay for the sector’s workers. The new rates will become legally enforceable on 24 June, marking a significant step in improving pay for childcare workers in Ireland.