This story was first published in the Fórsa members’ news bulletin (Education) on Tuesday 5th March 2019
Professionals in the early years’ sector are becoming increasingly qualified, but staffing shortages are worsening as graduates emigrate or leave for better-paid jobs, according to data in the Higher Education Authority graduate survey. Approximately 94% of staff have qualifications of level five or higher. This is up 2% on 2016-2017, and 6% on the previous year.
Despite this consistent rise of skill and ability, 57% of early years’ services report problems finding suitably qualified staff. That’s up 10% on last year.
57% of early years’ services report problems finding suitably qualified staff. That’s up 10% on last year.
The Higher Education Authority graduate survey shows that many honours degree graduates are struggling on salaries of less than €20,000 a year, which is well below the living wage.
This news comes just a month after it was revealed two-thirds of Irish adults think the pay of highly-trained childcare staff should reflect their qualifications. Yet salaries in the early years’ sector remain among the lowest in the Irish workforce.
Fórsa organiser, Katie Morgan said increased government investment is needed to professionalise the sector. “We have been campaigning on this with other unions. Without adequate investment the issues the sector is currently experiencing will only get worse,” she said.