The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is today calling on IT Tallaght to reverse the decision to close the créche on campus, or parents will be forced to dropout of college. IT Tallaght announced their campus créche would close after public tendering did not locate a new provider meeting the college’s criteria this month.
USI President Michael Kerrigan raised concern about the closure stating, “Student-parents are usually working part-time, with many juggling studies, family life and maybe other caring responsibilities. Childcare is the greatest source of angst for most student-parents, because of the financial and the organisational demands. With the second highest fees in Europe after the UK, and the increase in living costs like rent, part-time or full-time study for students who have children will become more and more difficult if the proper facilities are not there. Trying to source off-campus, more expensive créches is not an option”.
Speaking about the closure, President of IT Tallaght Students’ Union Jason Kavanagh went on to say, “Here in IT Tallaght, the on campus crèche is one of our most important facilities. It has, for the past 7 years, been the determining factor in student parents’ choice to pursue education. It has lifted the barriers to education for multiple diverse groups in society and made education a real possibility whilst knowing their children are receiving the utmost professional childcare. In IT Tallaght we pride ourselves on being able to provide this service to those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, mature students who wish to access education and those who wish to continue from programmes such as An Cosan”.
The Union is reminding student-parents that the Student Assistance Fund is available to assist students who are unable to meet costs associated with day-to-day participation in higher education, including childcare costs.