COVID/ Childcare and Health & Social Care workers
It’s been very interesting watching the childcare debate. I set up Cara International, as a Social Care worker, who was unable to get childcare at night when working with Children in Care. The crèche was not an option but having my children minded in my home was and thus Cara International was born. Having a live-in childminder is an ideal solution for families even post COVID.
What Au Pair or Live-in Carer gets?
My first Au Pair was Andrea from Spain, who came as a Summer placement. She was very sweet. Andrea improved her English, learnt life skills and is now an English teacher in Spain. Andrea taught the family about Spain and this sparked an interest in languages and culture for all the family members which are still evident in career paths today. Many Au Pairs come to Ireland as a bridge to independence. Cara International programme is unique in that we provide online English, family care and life skills classes for au pairs. We also ensure they are legally paid the minimum wage.
COVID/ Childcare & Health & Social Care workers
Now COVID has brought health care workers childcare needs to the forefront. We have seen the largest Unions Fórsa call for childcare on their behalf. We have had various solutions such as Health Care worker allowed to work from home. Irish Times (2020) that 8,000 health service workers needed childcare support. The value of these workers is after twenty years, finally been recognised and the need to support their childcare needs. The importance of childcare in the home is finally recognised as a possible solution with Minister Zappone announcements.
Roadmap to opening childcare
RTE (2020) report that many essential workers struggle to pay for childcare. The Government has announced a road map for opening Ireland. That road map does not include childminders/ au pairs/ nannies/ carers who are employed in the home, either informally (illegally) or formally. Without a road map, informal childcare could quickly become the new cluster for COVID in homes. There needs to be urgent action to ensure enforcement of this sector. Cara International stands ready to assist, legally placing in-home childminders in the home and to advice on self-isolation measures. We are calling on the Government to provide enforcement and guidance immediately.