There have been numerous articles in the press recently on topics relating to children and the early child care and education sector, so we have included some of these which may be of interest to you…
Minister Frances Fitzgerald T.D. published the Heads of the Children First Bill which will be sent to the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children for consultation with key stakeholders to take place before the Bill is finalised.
The purpose of this Bill is to put Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children on a statutory basis which is a key commitment in the Programme for Government.
Minister Fitzgerald said ‘I believe this legislation will be welcomed by all those who place the safety of children at the heart of our society. Organisations and professionals who are currently operating under Children First should not be concerned, as they are already operating safe practices, training staff and reporting concerns to the HSE. The new Child and Family Support Agency, to be established in 2013, is preparing to undertake the new responsibilities under the legislation and to deal effectively with reports that it receives.’
Ireland’s food safety watchdog is urging creches to guard against the spread of E.coli following an increase in the prevalence of the potentially deadly bacteria in the community.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said there were 285 cases of E.coli recorded last year by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, compared to 199 in 2010.
Irene Gunning, chief executive of Early Childhood Ireland, welcomed the leaflet and call to prevent the spread of E.coli in childcare settings.
Download the Food Safety Authories free leaflet : E.Coli – how to protect the children in your care
Children are bearing the brunt of the recession, with close to a third affected by some form of deprivation, according to a new report.
Poverty and deprivation is higher for children than for adults and has worsened with the economic downturn, the report by the Economic and Social Research Institute finds.
Child-specific deprivation rates are worst, at more than 20 per cent, in one-parent units and in families with low income, a father out of work or a mother with no qualifications, a disability or aged under 29.
Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton, who has been criticised by lone parents for her plans to remove child benefit from one-parent families for children over seven, said the report showed the importance for children of parents staying on in education.
A new study to investigate the wellbeing, diet and exercise levels of school children in Cork will be the most detailed of its kind in Ireland to date.
“Accurate estimates of the changes in childhood obesity over time are necessary to help develop appropriate measures to tackle the problem of childhood obesity,”said Janas Harrington from the department of epidemiology and public health in University College Cork.
She said it was anticipated that the results of this study would highlight areas of action for policymakers, planners and developers with responsibility for addressing childhood obesity and creating sustainable healthy environments.
A new National Trust report in the UK has found that evidence of a long-term and dramatic decline in children’s relationship with the outdoors is ‘overwhelming’ and urgent action is needed to bridge this growing gap before it’s too late.
Report author Stephen Moss, said: “We all know the benefits being outdoors can bring, and as parents we want our children to spend more time outdoors than they do.
“But despite this overwhelming evidence and the different initiatives and schemes run by organisations across the UK, our kids are spending less and less time in the outdoors.”