A large group of early year educators in Mayo closed their facilities today to join their colleagues nationally to protest over a lack of government funding for their services.

This morning on RTE, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O'Gorman has said the closures today were "unwarranted".

About 60 placard carrying ECCE providers in Mayo gathered outside the constituency office of deputy Alan Dillon  at about 11.30 this morning and the placard carrying protesters than walked up ththrough the county town to the Mayo County Childcare Committee offices on Elison St.

The protesters believe that a new funding system introduced two months ago means that facilities which only offer the ECCE programme are losing out.

The ECCE programme is two years' worth of Government-funded pre-school education available to all children.

The Federation of Early Childhood Providers (FECP) said 500 of its members nationally have today closed ECCE childcare services , as a result of funding and policy issues inadequately addressed in Budget 2023.

FECP members also gathered in towns across the country, and outside Leinster House to protest over what they say are unviable conditions for their members to operate within the ECCE programme.

Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley spoke to some of the protesters in Castlebar and began by asking them why they were out in the wind and rain this morning…



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