A CRÈCHE owner is shutting down her service this morning (Tuesday) to protest against rising insurance costs and is calling on other childcare service providers to support her campaign.
Linda Mellon, owner of the Dolmen Nursery and Montessori in Dolmen Gardens, Carlow, is temporarily turning away the children who use the service this morning so that she and her staff can raise awareness about the burgeoning insurance costs associated with the childcare industry. One of only two insurance brokers pulled out of the market in Ireland recently and many crèche owners are now facing huge increases in their premiums.
Linda’s own premium rocketed from €1,000 in 2018 up to €3,600 this year – a hike which she says her business can’t sustain.
The government pledged that it would offer assistance to the industry to offset the insurance costs, but Linda says that this isn’t enough. She claims that she received only €175 under the government’s Programme Support Payment, which isn’t enough to defray the extra costs of running her crèche.
“We are currently facing a crisis in childcare. The final straw is the enormous hike in the cost of our insurance for 2020,” she told The Nationalist. “The government has not kept its promise to provide substantial help with this huge hike in insurance.”
Linda’s service provides care for almost 50 children and employs eight staff members. She says that she has the support of her staff and the parents who use the service in this morning’s closure and is urging other providers and interested parties to join them in the protest this morning until noon at 6 Dolmen Gardens, Carlow.
“We must stand together and take action to make the government listen,” she concluded.