It may not be possible to prevent a specific birth defect or an illness, but it should be possible to protect a child from an accident and injury or disease that results in death.”
That means a child should not have to choose between life and a life-limiting illness or disability. “Everyone should be entitled to good health and safety. We must provide a safe environment for everyone, regardless of ability to pay.”
Efforts by the government to encourage people to do more to protect themselves against illness and accidents and increase safety in cars, streets and workplaces are “indispensable” in addressing health problems, said Mr Kenny.
Gerry Ryan, a Dublin-based lawyer and the director of health and safety at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, said he found it “troubling” that Mr Kenny’s party had failed to sign the declaration, but he believes he and others will continue to campaign for the inclusion.
“I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t get a basic minimum guarantee in health and safety for everyone,” he said. “If we get to this day when Ireland’s children can’t walk down the street and their parents can’t get to work or they can’t get their child to a doctor then we have a serious problem.” Mr Ryan said the union’s call for a minimum wage will continue to be a major issue and it will be one of the driving forces for its general secretary, Jimmy Kelly, in his campaign to win the Fine Gael leadership in the coming months.
The Department of Health and the Dil Health Committee had been aware of the issue and it was expected to be debated at a meeting next month. The Department of Health said it had a statutory duty under the Care Act 2009 to implement minimum standards for childcare provision. The Department said the maximum amount a child care provider can pay a child carer is 40 per child a week. It also said it has a minimum wage policy of 11.30 per hour for those who work full-time in childcare, but the “average wage” was 11.71. The Department said its Child Care Standards Code of Practice sets out minimum standards for: safe spaces in schools; safe locations for children; safe spaces to keep children safe during transport; safe and secure care, and proper procedures.
But it is understood the proposed increase would be for all children aged 18 months or over, not just those under the age of 18. The Department of Health said it has “no plans to introduce a statutory minimum for children aged 18 years or over”. A spokesperson said: “We support the need for a high standard for care and childcare services. This includes high-quality care and education for all parents, and a high standard of care for their children. “We also recognise the significant costs of childcare services, as this is the largest provider of childcare in the UK. “But we are determined to ensure that children benefit from the best quality care available, and, where necessary, we must ensure that children receive quality care. This is why we always recommend consulting with a health professional. If you’re interested in North Raleigh Pediatrics, you can find their website here.