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Fed up childcare staff to join national protest

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PROTEST: Killarney preschool owners and operators are fighting for professional recognition and more financial support. Pictured at the front are: Jacqui O’Reilly of Happy Hearts, Patricia Quigley of Scallywags and Rosemary Falvey of Bellview Woods Childcare. Photo: Grigoriy Geniyevskiy

 

By Michelle Crean and Sean Moriarty

Owners of several busy preschools in Killarney and surrounds are to take part in a national protest next month.

The providers, who say they are not receiving a professional wage for all the extra Government work that they do, will join with others from across the country to protest in Dublin on Wednesday, February 5.

Those travelling to protest include; Bellview Woods Childcare, Scallywags, Little Explorers, Happy Hearts Montessori, Ballyspillane Family Resource Centre, Sliabh Luachra Montessori, Maggie’s Montessori, Raheen Montessori Playgroup, Fossa Preschool, Creative Kids Preschool, Naíonra Faithleann, Anabla Preschool, Danú Chiuldcare Rathmore, and Puffins in Firies.

They are calling on the Government to provide adequate funding as well as cut the six separate inspections per year down to one.

Local operators, like all nationally, are also expected to adhere to Department of Education regulations - despite not being officially recognised by the State’s education body. The local childcare facilities are also regulated by Tulsa, DCYA, HSE, Pobal, and other Government agencies.

Although the centres are in receipt of a weekly grant of around €64 per child, which boils down to €4.68 per child per hour in their care, professionals are obliged to carry out additional paperwork like child assessments and they are not getting paid for this additional work. Terms of the grant mean they are not allowed charge additional fees to parents to offset rising costs.

“The current situation is not sustainable,” Rosemary Falvey, Manager of Bellview Woods Childcare in Ballydowney, told the Killarney Advertiser.

Rising costs, particularly insurance which has risen by 300 percent in the last year and is only available through one provider, means that the available grant goes nowhere near covering operating costs at child care centres.

“We want recognition of our profession,” said Patricia Quigley of Scallywags Preschool in Muckross.

Highly qualified staff do not receive wages outside of school term-time unlike teachers in primary and post-primary schools.

“If we are good enough to be regulated by the Department of Education and are good enough to meet their standards, then we are good enough to receive Department of Education wages and pay,” said Sharon O’Riordan of Little Explorers, which is based at Two-Mile School near Ballyhar.

Parents locally are in support of the protest march according to several pre-school operators The Killarney Advertiser spoke to.

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Dancing classes set to unite communities

By Michelle Crean There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities. KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities.

KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support Centre, has teamed up with dance instructor John Moriarty to teach both Ukrainians and multiple cultures living in Kerry Irish set dancing steps from next week.

The first class will take place on Tuesday evenings, starting next week (September 27) at St Mary’s Parish Hall at 6.30pm and all are welcome to join.

The idea is to help Ukrainians living in Killarney and Kerry to come and have fun and get to know locals better, KASI coordinator, Marilyn Catapat-Counihan, explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“We have a women’s group for all ages where we do crochet, sewing and art and crafts, where they can talk which is good. I had the music on and they were dancing. I asked if they would like to do dancing classes so I organised it with John Moriarty who is well known in Killarney.”

She added that the women are very excited to learn set dancing and get to know other people from the area.

“Sometimes when you meet new people the language can be a barrier and when you’re dancing everybody is moving. He will open it to everyone so there’ll be integration, it’s fun as well. They are all very excited.”

To find out more contact John on 086 1579381.

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Multiple Sclerosis Walk celebrates 20 years

By Sean Moriarty The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers. On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers.

On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk takes place over the Old Kenmare Road.

First run in 2002, this year’s event will celebrate 20 years since its foundation but two years were lost as a result of the pandemic.

This year’s walk will be limited to 150 people – three coach loads – so event organisers can cut back on running costs.

It will only be possible to participate in this year’s event if walkers pre-register.

“Walkers must raise at least €40 to make it worthwhile,” organiser John O’Shea told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Spaces are limited, 150 people equals three coaches and we need smaller coaches to get into the start of the Old Kenmare Road as that is just a bog road. We have limited numbers for cost and operational reasons.”

Mr O’Shea thanked event sponsors O’Callaghan Coaches and The Gleneagle Hotel for their support of the event.

Registration forms can be obtained by calling John on 087 2348824.

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