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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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Family to run in memory of the late Linda Eviston

By Sean Moriarty The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory. Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer. Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory.

Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer.

Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of her daughter Alannah, will run a 42.2km course, on the day before her anniversary to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

The route will be based on landmarks that were an important part of Linda’s life. Starting from the family home in Dromkerry, before heading for the town centre and passing the Eviston House Hotel, Linda’s grandmother’s home at Park Road, Linda’s childhood home and national school in Glenflesk, Loreto where Linda attended secondary school, back to Killarney and finishing at Linda’s pride and joy – Brook Lodge Hotel.

“It is tough but we wanted to do something in Linda’s memory and help other people who might find themselves in similar circumstances,” Pat told the Killarney Advertiser. “We originally hoped to do the Dublin City Marathon but that got cancelled. This route is much better, but much tougher as it’s more hilly.”

All proceeds will be donated to the Irish Cancer Society and donations can be made via: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/inhonouroflinda.

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Women bravely bare all for Kerry’s first ‘Dip in the Nip’

By Michelle Crean  It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend. Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend.

Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst the all female grouping were some Killarney ladies who joined in the empowering adventure for what was described as “a special and unforgettable morning” all in aid of Recovery Haven Kerry.

According to Marisa Reidy from Recovery Haven, the women were of all ages and all walks of life who came together for so many personal reasons.

“Some were still on their own cancer journey, some were celebrating coming out the other side and of course, many were there to honour friends and loved ones who they had lost to cancer, but we were all equal on the day – flaws and all,” Marisa, who also took part in the event, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was a truly uplifting and exhilarating experience and we are so, so grateful to each and every lady who joined us for a morning we will never forget. One woman described it as ‘companionship among strangers’ and that really sums it up perfectly. It was emotional, there were some tears, but lots of laughter and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. When the ladies hit the water, they all formed a circle and held hands in a gesture that was totally unplanned – it just happened organically and it was quite overwhelming.”

She added that a very special mention has to be made to Michaela and John Edwards and their team from Wild Water Adventures for their support and expertise in ensuring no stone was left unturned in making it a fabulous, safe event.

“It was an all-female team from beginning to end, from our own volunteers, stewards, registration, Gardai, teas and coffees, lifeguards, sea rescue – girl power at its finest! Now all that’s left to do is start planning for 2022!”

Donations are still being taken via the link on the Recovery Haven Kerry Facebook page.

“So far we are close on €9,000 which is just fabulous.”

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