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In Ireland, childminders strike for better wages

In Ireland, as in France, enrolling your child in the crèche is an obstacle course. This is the crisis in the early childhood sector across the country. The sector's service providers, mostly women, went on strike for three days.

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Children in a nursery (Illustration image). © FatCamera / Getty Images

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Fair funding and now," is what hundreds of protesters want outside the Irish Parliament in Dublin, all dressed in orange: a garish color to never go unnoticed, according to Averil.

She made the special trip from the nursery she runs in Cork: "Last year, 141 establishments had to close their doors! I employ 10 people, I wanted to recruit one more, I searched for 6 months and in the end, I received only one CV and it came from Zimbabwe. In fact, young women here do not want to work in this sector, because they are underpaid! I'm exhausted...

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Mother of two, Clare came to support the strikers. She, too, is calling on the state to invest more in public daycares. When she found out she was pregnant, her joy quickly gave way to stress: "I've been looking for a nursery place for my 8-month-old son, since I found out I was pregnant! Half of my pregnancy was the fear of what will happen when I go back to work! There's a huge waiting list and so many places closed, so yes, it's hard. Who will take care of them?

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But Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman said the strike was not justified. More local protests are planned across the country tomorrow and Thursday.

Also listenInternational report - In Ireland, children under 13 deprived of smartphones

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