Amid Covid crisis, Sligo childcare provider urges positivity

A Sligo childcare provider says she is hopeful she can retain all her staff despite a reduction in the numbers of children now using her services.

Priority for creche and early-years care is now being given to the children of essential and frontline workers and vulnerable children.

But despite a reduction in income, Claire Barden, who operates the Learn Early Montessori Academy & Creche in Ballymote, says that with the wage subsidy for employers and other funding, she is hopeful she and others like her can survive.

The current crisis has highlighted even more the importance of government and State funding for the sector.

Childhood Services Ireland, the trade association for childcare providers, has written to the Minister for Children and Youth affairs today appealing for his Department’s help in keeping services open.

According to Childhood Services Ireland, it will be extremely difficult for many providers to keep services open for so few children, with some services reporting they will have to operate at a loss.

But Claire Barden, who’s hoping to soon open another childcare facility in Collooney, says she’s remaining positive.