22 Meith 2020, 16.23

The Special Committee on Covid-19 Response will focus on childcare, tomorrow, Tuesday, 23 June, when it meets in Leinster House.

TDs will hear from representatives from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), SIPTU,  Early Childhood Ireland, The Crann Support Group, Association of Childhood Professionals (ACP) and officials from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DYCA) at three separate sessions throughout the day.

  • Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha and SIPTU Health Division, Divisional Organiser Paul Bell will appear before the Committee at 11.05am.
  • Early Childhood Ireland, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Teresa Heeney, ACP, Chairperson Marian Quinn and The Crann Support Group, Chief Executive Officer Marie Daly will appear before the Committee at 2pm.
  • Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Secretary General Dr. Fergal Lynch will appear before the Committee at 4.30pm.

Speaking before the meeting, Committee Chairman, Michael McNamara TD said: “A childcare scheme for healthcare workers was proposed during the lockdown but never materialised. The phased re-opening of early learning and childcare services is due to begin on June 29 and services will be asked to prioritise the children of essential or frontline workers if local capacity issues emerge.

“We welcome the INMO, which represents some 40,000 nurses and midwives, and SIPTU Health Division, which represents 50,000 workers in hospitals and other healthcare facilities before the Committee to discuss the issue.

“We also welcome stakeholders representing the crèche, pre-school and child-minding sector to hear the impact the shut-down of services has had on staff, children and parents to date and the support they need to open their doors again, safely.  Equally we look forward to hearing more details from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs on the roadmap to re-opening childcare services.”

The witnesses will appear in the Dáil Chamber and by video link from Committee Room 1.

Watch the Committee live here.

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Committee membership

Teachtaí

Fine Gael

Fine Gael

Fianna Fáil

Sinn Féin

Independent

Sinn Féin

Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil

Michael McNamara - Cathaoirleach

Independent

Fine Gael

Independent

Social Democrats

Solidarity - People Before Profit

Labour Party

Green Party