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New pay agreement to provide pay increases & wage structure for early learning and childcare workers

  • Employment Regulation Orders to provide first ever minimum rates of pay for roles in the early learning and childcare sector


  • More than 70% of staff working in early learning and childcare set for pay increase following agreement


  • Pay increases supported through Government’s €221 million Core Funding Scheme

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has welcomed today’s news that his party colleague Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English TD has accepted Employment Regulation Orders for the Early Years Services Sector. The Orders will commence on 15 September 2022, providing new minimum hourly rates of pay for various roles across the Early Years Services Sector.


Senator Cummins said “I’m delighted to see these new Employment Regulation Orders for the early years sector being approved by my colleague Minister English today. The proposals will apply to some 27,000 staff across the sector and I know they will be hugely welcomed by everyone working in the early learning and childcare sector”.


“I want to acknowledge the patience which has been shown by everyone involved in the process. The Early Years Services Joint Labour Committee is a good example of how effective the reformed Joint Labour Committee system can be when representatives of employees and employers voluntarily negotiate together to identify a mutually beneficial agreement”.


Under the new arrangements, the following minimum rates of pay will apply from September 15th which is expected to result in 70% of staff working in early learning and childcare receiving an uplift in pay. 50% of employees wages in the sector are expected to rise by 10% or more, and the wages of 20% of employees are expected to rise by 20% or more.


  • €13.00 for Early Years Educators/ School-Age Childcare practitioners;

  • €14.00 for Early Years Lead Educators / School-Age Childcare co-ordinators;

  • €15.50 Graduate Early Years Lead Educators / School-Age Childcare co-ordinators;

  • €15.70 for Deputy Managers;

  • €16.50 for Managers;

  • €17.25 for Graduate Managers.

Senator Cummins added “As someone who has been involved in the education sector until my election to Seanad Eireann, I can attest to the importance of the strong foundations which are laid in early years education. Without those foundations it is far more difficult for students to realise their full potential in later life.


He concluded by saying “T/he most important element of this is the €221 million core funding scheme which is being implemented in tandem with this announcement on September 15th to support providers. As a government we will continue to invest in early years education and childcare because of the enormous benefits it offers both children and working parents in particular. The National childcare scheme is there to support parents with universal subsidies, however a recent survey showed 50% of parents were unaware of the supports available, therefore I would encourage parents to visit www.ncs.gov.ie to ensure they are availing of all the supports available to them.

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