Staff shortages a major issue for many local childcare providers

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A Tipperary childcare provider says many facilities in the county are closed due to the impact of Covid on staff numbers.

Darren Ryan of Clonmel Childcare says they were fortunate enough to be able to reopen after the Christmas break last Tuesday.

This was despite having quarter of their 28 strong workforce unavailable to them.

Speaking on Tipp Today he said strict rules regulating childcare services make it much more difficult to remain open compared to primary or secondary schools.

“As an early years’ service we have five bodies that can walk in and inspect us. So irrespective of how many staff I have out if I open for example a baby room and I have six children in there I have to have two staff in that room.

“TUSLA can still do an unannounced inspection. Obviously the ratios are there for very good reason and very good purpose but during the current climate a very slight easing of that would help.”