Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has described the delay in providing vital childcare supports for key frontline workers as “unacceptable with government announcement after announcement on childcare producing nothing and still only a promise”.
Teachta Crowe said: “As COVID-19 has dragged out longer and longer, temporary arrangements many workers had in place regarding childcare are disappearing as favours from family and friends has run their course. “Fórsa, the largest public service union, has said that the HSE should either pay for alternative childcare arrangements for essential healthcare workers or provide childcare directly to workers to enable them carry out their vital frontline duties.
“Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, the government have made announcement after announcement, promise after promise, that they would supply childcare supports to frontline workers, but have failed spectacularly to do so. “Flexible work patterns aimed at resolving childcare difficulties which arose when schools and crèches were closed and which have forced some essential workers to remain at home to care for their children just haven’t happened. “Months into this COVID-19 Pandemic, where frontline workers have taken enormous risks of getting this virus, even the most basic of supports like childcare have failed to materialise.
“Many frontline workers that I have spoken to say that, because of the very real danger of contacting COVID-19 in their work, they are finding it extremely difficult to get childcare cover with those they could have previously relied upon. The danger presented to grandparents particularly is just too great. “The Government’s latest announcement is that from May 18th, childcare may be delivered in the homes of healthcare workers. “Unfortunately, there is no evidence that this will happen as it looks increasingly like this is yet another target that is unlikely to be met. “Throughout this crisis, we have heard announcement after announcement about how important frontline workers are, but practical and vital supports like childcare are still just a promise.”