A network of 32 national community and voluntary organisations working to address poverty, social exclusion and inequality has today launched ‘Principles for Delivering a Public Childcare Model’ and called for the delivery of a public childcare model in Ireland.
The Six Principles for a Public Childcare Model are:
1. Child centred
2. State responsibility
4. Quality, inclusion and accessibility
5. Equality6. Decent working conditions
The document will be launched at an online event involving speakers representing parents, community providers, childcare professionals and workers, women and a range of political parties, who will have a chance to engage with a wide audience on the development and delivery of a public childcare model.
Paul Ginnell from the European Anti-Poverty Network Ireland, a member of the Platform stated that ‘The current model of childcare in Ireland, which depends very heavily on the private market, fails many people across society, particularly children and parents from low-income families and workers.’
Catherine Lane from the National Women’s Council, also a member of the Platform highlighted that “The Community Platform believes that the progressive delivery of a high quality, inclusive and accessible public childcare model is urgently needed and that a properly designed and delivered public childcare model can play an important role in addressing poverty and disadvantage and the wide-ranging structural inequalities that women experience.”
Rachel Doyle from Community Work Ireland also a Platform member continued “Lessons from the past, which have been reinforced by the Covid-19 pandemic, show the important role of the state in providing key public services and in ensuring universal access. This is essential in creating a more equal and inclusive society and childcare is one of these critical public services.”
Mary Roche from Treoir concluded “The delivery of a fit for purpose public childcare model needs to be adequately funded and we are calling for Government to invest 1% of our national income over the next decade, in line with UNICEF recommendations.”
Following the launch the Community Platform will engage widely with all political parties and the different stakeholders to promote the progressive delivery of a public childcare model.
Contact: Paul Ginnell 087 640 2200
Download: Principles for delivering a high quality, inclusive and accessible Public Childcare Model
The Community Platform
The Community Platform is an alliance of 32 national networks and organisations in the community and voluntary sector working to address poverty, social exclusion and inequality. The members of the Community Platform members are:
• Age Action Ireland
• All Together in Dignity (ATD) Ireland
• Community Action Network
• Community Work Ireland
• Debt and Development Coalition
• European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland
• Family Resource Centre National Forum • Focus Ireland
• Immigrant Council of Ireland
• Independent Living Movement Ireland
• Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed
• Irish Penal Reform Trust
• Irish Refugee Council
• Irish Rural Link
• Irish Traveller Movement • Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
• National Adult Literacy Agency
• National Collective of Community-based Women’s Networks
• National Traveller Women’s Forum
• National Women’s Council of Ireland
• One Family
• Pavee Point
• Rape Crisis Network Ireland • Safe Ireland
• Sign Language Interpreting Service
• Simon Communities of Ireland
• Vincentian Partnership for Justice
• Women’s Aid
Ahead of the Oireachtas debate on the motion to establish a Joint Committee on Gender Equality today (9th November 2021), civil society organisations have welcomed the setting up of this Committee and called on it to implement the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly on Gender Equality in full, prioritising a referendum to make the recommended Constitutional changes in relation to non- discrimination (Art. 40), the value of care (Art. 41.2. on ‘woman in the home’) and Article 41.3 on the Constitutional definition of the family.
The recommendations by the Citizens Assembly are ground-breaking and send a strong and clear signal to Government and all decision makers that gender equality needs to be at the centre of our Constitution, our legislation and our policies.
These recommendations come after long campaigns by civil society organisations to reform our constitution to reflect a modern Ireland with the value of equality at its centre.
Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council (NWC) said,
“We welcome and support the establishment of the Committee to discuss how we can best implement the comprehensive recommendations by the Citizens Assembly on Gender Equality. In particular, we call on the Committee to prioritise the necessary changes to our Constitution on women, the value of care and care work and on the definition of the family.
In line with the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly, we urgently need to replace the sexist and outdated wording of Art. 41.2 of our Constitution and replace it with wording that recognises the value of care within the home and the wider community.”
Karen Kiernan, One Family said,
“The establishment of this Committee on Gender Equality is very welcome to drive forward the implementation of the wide-ranging recommendations by the Citizens Assembly. The recommendation to recognise all forms of families in our Constitution, not only families based on marriage, will finally recognise the diversity of family life in Ireland and particularly provide status and recognition to one parent families.”
Organisations supporting this call include the National Women’s Council (NWC), One Family, Irish Council of Civil Liberties (ICCL), Children’s Rights Alliance, Treoir, Family Carers Ireland and Care Alliance Ireland.
For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWC, Tel. 085 858 9104.
Notes to Editor:
Full report on the recommendation of the Citizens Assembly
Recommendations in relation to the Constitution are:
Insert a new clause into Article 40 to refer explicitly to gender equality and non-discrimination.
Delete and replace the text of Article 41.2 (woman in the home) with language that is not gender specific and obliges the State to take reasonable measures to support care within the home and wider community.
Amend Article 41 so that it would protect private and family life, with the protection afforded to the family not limited to the marital family.
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Trading as One Family, Cherish CLG is a company limited by guarantee not having a share capital, registered in Dublin, Ireland with registered office at 8 Coke Lane, Dublin 7 and registered Company Number 45364. One Family is also a charity (Charity Regulatory Authority No. 20012212 and Charity No. 6525).
Directors of One Family: Helen Hall, Jennifer Good, Nuala Haughey, Rosemary Wokocha, Donagh McGowan , Eimear Fisher, John Bohan and Jack Eustace.