Elaine Dunne operates two Early Years services in the South Dublin area. One full day care and one part-time service with 80 children in total. Elaine has worked in the Early Years sector for over 30 years. She loves her chosen profession but acknowledges how difficult it has become due to long term chronic underfunding from the Government.
She is the Founder and Chairperson of the Federation of Early Childhood Providers since 2019 (FECP). After Elaine engaged with FECP members it was clear they were ready for change. FECP joined with other representative bodies to form the Together for Early Years Committee (TFEY). TFEY then organised the protest of 33,000 Early Years Providers, Educators and parents in February 2020. Elaine works tirelessly for the Early Years sector, always engaging and supporting FECP members with their daily struggles of their profession.
During the pandemic FECP set up a Covid peer support group. FECP is very aware of the mental health struggles in the Irish Early Years Sector. A Mental health committee was formed to support providers wherever needed.
Elaine is well received by the Irish media and continues to highlight the issues within the sector. Elaine sits on various DCEDIY and Tusla meetings continuously bringing forward the voice of the provider. Elaine continues to advocate for respect and fairness for Early Years Providers and Educators. She believes meaningful consultation and co-design is badly needed to improve the Irish Early Years.