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This Reboot Republic asks how do we achieve a quality and affordable childcare and early years education, that also provides a decent salary and conditions for workers and staff. We talk to Orla O Connor from the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Lynette Monk, educator from Kilbarrack Community Childcare, Tanya Ward, CEO of Childrens Rights Alliance, and Darragh O Connor, organiser of the Big Start Campaign with SIPTU. The panel discuss the vital role that early years education plays in a child’s development and how the role of childcare workers as essential workers was made clear by the pandemic , yet many still work under conditions such as low pay, lack of maternity pay, sick pay, poor pension provision. The case, both economic and societal, is made for a public model of childcare and how Ireland could transition to this.