Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Budget 2020: Lacking Ambition, Lacking Direction

By: RONAN KENNEDY

Wednesday 09 October 2019

The Minister for Finance delivered Budget 2020 yesterday and the general consensus seems to be a national shoulder shrug. The Policy, Advocacy, and Campaigning (PAC) team had been monitoring the leaks emanating from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs over the past few weeks and to a very large degree, we had an idea of what we thought what was coming. Or to put it another way, we knew what we weren’t getting.

Unfortunately, the entirety of Government's interest in early years seems to have been reflected in the fact that one single line in the Budget speech was devoted to our sector. No details and seemingly, no interest.

Even with Budget 2020 being framed in the context of a no-deal Brexit, the poverty of ambition for the early years sector is disheartening, to say the least. We are expecting Minister Zappone to give us more details on the spending plans at a press conference tomorrow, but the extent of what we know now amounts to a miserly €54 million increase in the budget for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. To put this in context, the Department of Education has received €2 billion since 2016; that’s €500 million per year. We continue to invest the lowest amount in early years of any EU state. And there appears to be no ambition on the part of Government to address this disgraceful and sustained underinvestment. Even given the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, this announcement is disappointing and myopic. This amount will do nothing to quell the recruitment and retention crisis in the sector, it will do nothing to prevent small providers from going to the wall and, most importantly, it will do nothing to enhance quality early years provision for babies and children. The government seem content to continue to point at the National Childcare Scheme as their flagship policy, and effectively ignore the myriad of issues facing providers and families when it comes to early years provision.

Despite the context of limited space for big spending measures, a lot more could have been achieved. Early Childhood Ireland's pre-Budget ask focused on the creation of a single early years and school-age childcare agency. We took the decision to pursue a cost-neutral ask as our focus was to allow for existing resources to be pooled and quality enhanced. This would have left space for targeted spending in improved access and to support providers. Unfortunately, the government have missed their opportunity. For now, at least.

The conventional wisdom is that this will be the last budget before the general election. If that is the case, then this would be one of the least generous pre-election budgets in living memory. Depending on how Brexit pans out, we may see a second ‘mini-budget’ before the election if the UK leaves with a deal and there is more scope for spending increases. We will have to wait and see.

The Ministerial announcement will take place today and the details of the breakdown of the €54 million secured will be revealed then. We will have more details of the specifics of the proposals at that stage.

 

Ronan Kennedy is Policy Officer with Early Childhood Ireland. He previously worked in the Dáil as a senior political advisor and as a researcher in UCD.

 

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

bonds(1) Reading Time(2) early childhood(1) Family(1) Affordability(1) Rituals(1) Leadership(1) learning bias(1) Qualifications(1) Funding(1) homeschool(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Care routines(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Vertical grouping(1) play(36) Croatia(1) conference(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Treasure(1) Graduate(1) Large Doll Play(1) Awards(2) Vietnam(1) Covid pandemic(3) Laughter(1) outdoor play(7) Syria(1) child-centric(1) risky play(2) Fee Play(1) Competent(1) NAEYC(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Care-giving routines(1) eating(1) Book Review(1) First 5 strategy(1) Creative(1) risk assessment(1) learners(1) worldbookday(1) Design(1) Degree(1) aistear blog(3) Interaction(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Summer(1) Snakes(1) Jenga(1) STEM(3) Rich Documentation(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) dogs(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Learning journals(1) COVID(1) Masterclass(2) baby room(1) ECCE(7) CPD(1) Gardening(1) Lego(2) Eritrea(1) feisty(1) Exclusion(1) play stories(2) EECERA 2016(1) art of the relationship(1) National Awards 2019(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) maternity health(1) Anthony Semann(1) Laugh(1) COVID-19(16) Document Learning(1) scéalta(57) EM Standing(1) collaboration(1) Inspirational(2) Awards 2019(1) Weather(1) Our Little Seed(1) family time(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) UNCRC(2) books(5) School Age Childcare(1) Line-ups(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) blog(55) The Jelly King(1) social media policy(1) reopening ireland(1) Plastic(1) emotions(2) development(8) Workplace Relations(3) Arts(1) research submissions(1) Educators(2) Japan(1) Settling in(4) Buddies(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Sweets(1) Learning Journal(2) Shoes(1) Body Language(1) Story(2) Special Needs Assistants(1) Spiders(1) Children's Rights(3) Hand Hygiene(2) Equality(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) iOS(1) Magic(1) Snack Time(1) Early Childhood Ireland(10) children development(1) Europe(1) Mathematicians(1) Advocacy(1) Stress(2) ELC(1) Recycling(2) healthy eating policies(1) play pod(1) Relaxation(1) Graduation(1) Whole Group(1) Irish(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) New Appointments(1) World Health Organisation(1) Event Guide(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Irish guidelines(1) emotional well-being(1) Budget 2019(2) COVID-19 landscape(1) early childhood educator(2) Facebook(1) Sculptures(1) Community involvement(1) Ceremony(1) IGL(1) Mark Twain(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) Pretend Play(1) role playing(1) Teamwork(1) Drawing(2) Children's Voice(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Inspired Practice Award(6) Participation(2) Grief(1) Appreciation(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Kerry(1) inspiring interactions(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Budget 2018(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Support(1) Trick or treat(1) emotional environment(2) Favouritism(1) Learning through Storytelling(2) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Fantasy play(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Arlene Forster(1) STEAM(1) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) Storytelling(8) Nonverbal(1) Investment(2) Thanks(1) Return to Work Training(1) creche(1) National Research Conference 2019(1) educarer(1) UD(1) stories(3) Loving Relationships(2) show and tell(1) early years research(3) AIM(2) Small World Play(1) Impact(1) TOY Programme(1) Adoption(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Glitter(2) Christmas Creativity(2) Infection Control(1) meals(3) Winter(1) early year’s classrooms(1) Human Resources(1) Blocks(1) Obesity(1) staying connected(1) Elders(1) racism(1) Digital Devices(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Penguins(1) democracy(1) Thinking(1) TRAP(1) Scéalta Blog(105) multi-generational community(1) Afghanistan(1) Covid19 crisis(1) Maynooth(1) Children(6) Mo Scéal(1) Oireachtas(1) Research Conference 2019(1) outdoors(4) awards 2020(1) European Project(1) Little Buddies(1) Policy(2) Growing up Outdoors(2) Snacks(1) memories(1) early years settings(1) Builders(1) interacting(2) Cognitive development(1) phone apps(1) Gratitude(1) Exploring(1) Horizon 2020(1) Awards 2018(3) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) ECEC(3) Home Corner(1) Opportunities(1) Sequins(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) Early Years Educators(3) Training(2) linc(1) annual conference(1) Cork(1) Communications(1) SPICE Framework(1) Italy(1) UNICEF report(1) respect(5) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) preschool settings(1) Giraffe(2) SAC(1) research(6) UN(1) RTE Investigates(1) imotion(1) peer group(1) Online Research Symposium(2) Halloween(2) Certificate(1) Arithmetic(1) Wesco(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Mantra(1) Thank you(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) quarantine(2) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Children's Book Club(1) animals(2) educating(1) Visitors(1) Wonder(1) Self Help Skills(1) ECIAwards20(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Limerick(1) San Miniato(4) AsIAm(2) Map(1) Loss(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) ReCreate(2) Flowers(1) ICBN(1) Orla Kenny(1) developing motor skills(1) Childhood(1) communication(4) Early Years(1) Workforce(1) United Nations(1) Imagination(3) Empathy(1) Family wall(1) Health(2) Patterns(1) relationships(18) Leargas(1) gender bias(1) outdoor environment(1) Social Skills(1) Fabric(1) science(3) experience(1) Reggio Emilia(2) Self-regulation(1) conversations(1) routine(2) Mud kitchens(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Digital(1) Engineering(3) coronavirus(1) curriculum(5) Feeding(1) learning(19) Confidence(1) Albert Einstein(1) Aistear(130) Primary School(3) NCCA(3) Children's Research Network(2) GDPR(1) Workplace well-being(1) Pedagogy(2) Diversity(1) Pre-School Services(1) play pods(2) Norway(2) Celebrations(4) Unesco(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Child mental health(1) Names(1) Running(1) MECPI(1) listening(1) quarantine kids(1) Administrative Burden(1) Party(1) Kindness Challenge(1) Nuturing interactions(1) mental health problems(1) Budget 2020(1) Academics(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) code of ethics(1) purpose(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Exercise(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) reopening(1) International Narratives(1) Breathing(2) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) environments(1) journey(1) Decision Making(1) Pobal(1) Recycle(1) Twitter(1) Montessori(3) Malaguzzi(1) Culture(2) Sustainability(3) Staff Motivation(1) Environment(2) Infectious diseases(1) Titles(1) Behaviour(3) Quality(4) Xbox(1) Your place(1) Awards Night(1) Research Seminar(1) Mindfulness(3) food(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(2) Nutrition(1) june29(1) Supernanny(1) Light table(1) EECERA(1) Photographs(1) National Awards 2018(2) babies(7) built environments(1) Kids Own(1) Self-Esteem(1) Well-Being(10) natural environment(1) Buddy Bench(1) Communicating(1) Study Trip(1) scientific and artistic processes(1) early childhood ireland research(1) Leprechauns(1) Craft(1) Window(1) learning hub(1) Love(3) Socioemotional development(1) Reopening Childcare(1) Iraq(1) Treasure Chest(1) bloom app(1) Art(6) lockdown(1) Looking Forward(1) Through the looking glass(1) under 3's(3) Traffic Lights(1) Employee(1) early years learning(1) primary education(1) Visual Impairment(1) Independence(1) Covid response(2) value(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Inter-generational learning(2) DES Inspection(1) Wendy Lee(3) Wilenski(1) Covid-19 lockdown(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Maths(6) Meal time(1) Mealtimes(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) dublin(2) curiosity(3) responsive relationships(1) Sleep(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) GoToMeeting app(1) Upcycling(1) Valentine's Day(3) First 5(1) Music(3) life long learning(1) Yoga(1) social media(2) Learning Stories(9) partnership(1) Intention(1) Wrapping paper(1) Time Out(1) Magda Gerber(1) dining(1) College(1) Confident(1) Sustainable(1) Universal Design(2) ears(1) Reflective Practice(1) Looking Back(1) parents(6) movement behaviours(1) Academic Skills(1) CCTV(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Meet the Members(1) supportive environments(2) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Dance(1) National Holiday(1) Children and families(2) Performing(1) Inter-generational(2) Celebrate(1) Early Years Education(1) Games(1) Youtube Series(1) education system(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) behavioural science(1) E.coli(1) University(1) Easter(1) social science(1) Síolta(138) Emergent Curriculum(1) playleader(1) MA(1) outdoor space(3) Playdough(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Síolta QAP(1) Learning Story Awards(2) mushrooms(1) Performance Management(1) Engagement(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Technology(3) child-centred approach(1) refugees(1) Child Care(1) Traditions(2) toddlers(3) PIP(1) Santa(2) ECEC Setting(2) continual professional development(1) pets(1) National Annual Awards 2020(1) education(2) early life(1) Mount Everest(1) Queues(1) Anxiety(2) Maternity Leave(1) partnership with families(1) Exploratory Play(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Frosty the Snowman(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Plants(1) Inspiring Practice(1) Counting(1) World book day(1) Book Club(2) Seanchaí(1) Childcare(3) Role play(1) INTO(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) story time(2) Pedagogical leaders(1) risk(2) Maynooth University(2) National Pyjama Day(1) Super Shed Stories(2) Growing up in Ireland(3) Smiles(1) code of professional responsibility(1) transitions(10) Biting(1) Mental Health(4) Belonging(3) keezy(1) documentation(4) Interactions(3) dining experiences(1) overhear(1) Positivity(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Creativity(6) Exit interview(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) DCYA(6) Trade union(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) democratic citizens(1) Consent(1) reading(6) trust(4) Online(1) Trade Unions(1) Professionalisation(5) childcare services(1) friendships(1) Maria Montessori(1) planning(1) Bereavement(2) Kilkenny(1) Touch(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Capable(1) online training(1) Early Childhood Education(1) youdoodle(1) Potential(1) HR(1) children’s learning(1) play therapy(1) Sessional service(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) community(5) structure(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Sport(1) RIE philosphy(1) Challenges(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Inspections(1) Frustrations(1) Liz Kerrins(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Learning Story(1) Change(1) man up(1) annual awards(1) Reggio(1) Scents(1) Building Resilience(1) Trigonometry(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Mayo(1) Kindness(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) worries(1) Inclusion(3) Interests(1) Siolta blog(8) Maths Week(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Shapes(2) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Prexit(1) gender stereotype(1) Proceedings Journal(1) Time(1) pablo(1) Engineers Week(2) Brain(1) Iceland(1) listen(1) grandchild(1) Decisions(1) keep in touch(1) Autism(4) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Death(2) Pen green(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Routines(2) preschool(4) ERASMUS+(3) science week(2) Painting(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Seas Suas(1) Magnavacchi(1) CIT(1) budget(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) apps for children(1) Identity(5) Playschool(1) an post(1) christmas(9) Mixed age groups(3) Margy Whalley(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine