A nursery owner who recently advertised a vacant educator position received only two resumes.
iona Murphy has run the Heronswood child care center in Carrigaline, County Cork for 18 years and said she “has never found it so difficult to find staff”.
She started looking for employees abroad and got in touch with a recruitment company that arranged interviews with nursery nurses in Spain, France and Romania.
Today, the people she hired are struggling to find affordable accommodation in Cork.
“We could buy two new nurseries and fill them in the morning due to the level of demand, but we wouldn’t be able to staff them,” Ms Murphy told the Independent Irish.
“Girls can leave the childcare industry and go to work in a supermarket further away for more money. Many people are leaving the profession altogether.
“Before, when I was advertising jobs, CVs were pouring in, but they aren’t anymore. The cost of living in Ireland is a nightmare and people are really struggling.”
The crèche has been in her family for 40 years and she is co-owner with her two sisters.
She thinks there are a lot of people who can work in child care, but thinks nursery owners are “left in a corner” because of the qualification requirements.
“There are a lot of people who are able to work in child care who would be great for the job, like people who have experience raising their own families. They are fully trained but we are stuck in a hole with all the qualifications and regulations.
“We found people who would be perfect, but now they are struggling a lot to find accommodation. We are in a lose-lose situation.
Ms Murphy also criticized Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman, commenting on the high cost of child care.
“The government seems to be focusing on the cost of childcare services, but the management of the sector by this government and previous governments has resulted in nurseries introducing high fees.
“To be fair, the Wage Subsidy for Employment (EWSS) program made a big difference and the government helped us financially during Covid.
“We put a bonus in the salaries of our staff to try to boost morale, but once the EWSS is gone, we will not be able to continue to do so. We will probably have to increase our fees for the first time in seven years. “