At least three childcare facilities in Clare have been forced to permanently close their doors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ahead of the announcement of a sustainability fund tomorrow, childcare providers are urging the Government to provide adequate support for the sector.
They’re concerned that many more businesses in this county are at risk of shutting down.
Fresh calls are being made for more state intervention in the childcare sector, in light of the huge difficulties facing the industry.
At least three childcare providers in this county have ceased operating since the beginning of the pandemic, two of those in recent weeks.
It’s feared many more are on the brink of closure, as they grapple with mounting costs for PPE, and reduced numbers attending, as more parents work from home.
The Federation of Early Childhood Providers says the sector is now also haemorrhaging staff, as jobs come on stream in the education sector.
Chairperson Elaine Dunne is warning that failure to provide adequate support will force more providers out of business, which she believes will have a knock-on effect on other sectors of the economy.
Details of a Sustainability Fund is due to be announced by the Government tomorrow, and ahead of that childcare providers are calling for adequate support to cover monthly costs.
Lifford Childcare Centre has been operating in Ennis for around twenty years and has seen a considerable drop in numbers attending since they re-opened at the end of June.
Owner Claire Tuohy is hoping that numbers will pick up in September when children go back to school, but she says for now it’s just a waiting game to see if business can be sustained.