Creche workers have said they are being treated like glorified babysitters by the Government.

They are criticising a decision by Department of Children to dock funding for any creches taking part in a protest next week.

So far around 1,500 of the country’s creches have signed up for a national day of protest next Wednesday.

They are highlighting what they describe as a crisis in the sector with low wages and not enough State funding.

A rally will take place in Dublin, meaning parents will have to find alternative places for their children for the day.

Dublin Creche owner, Elaine Dunne, said many workers are quitting because of low wages.

Ms Dunne said: “We are paid as glorified babysitters. If a staff member decides to leave, which has happened in a couple of services that I know, and they have gone to work in Lidl or Aldi, they are getting €14.75 an hour.

“Even though they are trained as Montessori teachers, they are now working in Aldi.”

The Department of Children has warned those creches taking part they will be docked funding for the day.

Parent Orla Rainart, whose younger son is in creche, thinks that is unfair.

Ms Rainart said: “It’s kind of nearly like blackmail at the moment that they are saying ‘well if you do go on strike, or you do walk out or object or rally on the fifth of February that basically she is going to pull the plug on the funding for that day.

“I think that is disgraceful.”

The Early Years Alliance is warning creches across the country will have to close and fees will have to rise substantially if their concerns are not addressed.

Source: Breaking News