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07.50 10 Feb 2015


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People working with young children are marching on the Dail next week. They are demanding pay which is in line with their qualifications and high standards.

The march, which will take place between 1pm and 3pm next Tuesday February 17th, is organised by the Association of Childhood Professionals (ACP).

The group says the purpose of the rally is to recognise the vital role played by 25,000 childhood professionals across the country - many of whom earn little more than the minimum wage.

ACP has said it is receiving "a high degree of support from the sector and is expecting a strong turnout."

They are also calling for greater government investment in the children's sector.

The rally is to be addressed by childhood expert Professor Noirín Hayes and politicians - including deputies Ciara Conway and Robert Troy and Senators Cáit Keane and Katherine Zappone.

The rally is also to be attended and supported by IMPACT, SIPTU, Barnardos, Early Childhood Ireland, the National Women's Council and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).

ACP chairperson Marian Quinn said "Many members of our profession are earning little more than minimum wage and we are losing qualified, experienced people who can no longer afford to remain in the profession. Earning a professional wage and supporting a child's development should not be mutually exclusive."

A petition is also being run from the ACP website, while they are asking people to raise the issue with their local TDs.


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