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Childcare providers call to be prioritised for coronavirus vaccine

Childcare providers say they need to be prioritised for the vaccination against COVID-19. Some cr...
Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

09.12 3 Jan 2021


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Childcare providers call to be...

Childcare providers call to be prioritised for coronavirus vaccine

Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

09.12 3 Jan 2021


Share this article


Childcare providers say they need to be prioritised for the vaccination against COVID-19.

Some creches will reopen tomorrow to care for vulnerable children and children of frontline workers.

The state-funded pre-school programme will delay its resumption until January 11th, in line with primary and secondary schools.

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Around 100,000 children are enrolled in the programme, and services were due to resume in the coming days.

Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman said the decision was made following concerns expressed by the Early Learning and Childcare COVID-19 Advisory Group over the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

Elaine Dunne, Chair of the Federation of Early Childhood Providers, said some staff are reluctant to return to work.

She told Newstalk Breakfast with Susan Keogh that her network of 1,700 providers are doing their best to open up for vulnerable children and those of essential workers.

However, she added: "Without us being prioritised for the vaccine it's very hard to get the staff back into work again and that is a huge issue for us all.

"Some staff are definitely reluctant to come back and can you blame them? No.

"We are hoping that [the Minister] will come out today or in the next 48 hours and tell us that we can be prioritised for this vaccine.

Ms Dunne said childcare providers are now frontline workers but they can only ensure their services run as safely as possible if staff are inoculated.

"If they need the economy back up and running then please prioritise us," she added.

"If we get the vaccine it will out all of our minds at rest and if we open up our services then the economy can remain going."

She said everyone's wellbeing and safety is "paramount".

Main image: File photo. Credit: Geoff Kirby/EMPICS Entertainment

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