The latest news and information

Press Release: RTÉ Investigates Update

€3 million for school age childcare a positive step but proper planning and regulation must be a priority

March 7, 2017

Plans announced today to provide €3 million to support services aimed at school going children is a positive development, but proper planning to ensure that these services are sustainable and regulation of the sector must be a priority according to Early Childhood Ireland.

The new funding was announced as part of a report entitled Action Plan on School Age Childcare, which was published by Ministers for Children & Youth Affairs and Education & Skills, Dr Katherine Zappone, T.D and Richard Bruton, T.D today.

School age childcare refers to services that provide safe, secure settings which children can regularly attend after the school day finishes or during the school holidays. These services enable parents to remain in the workforce or take up training or study opportunities should they wish to.

Today’s funding is intended to help establish new services as well as expanding and improving existing ones.

Early Childhood Ireland, CEO Teresa Heeney, said:

“We welcome this provision of additional funding announced today. As Minister Zappone acknowledged in her statement, Ireland needs to continue to invest in early years and school age care to catch up with its OECD counterpart in terms of quality and affordability.

However, as well as investment, a proper system of standards and regulation for staff are imperative. When you consider that some of the children using these services can be as young as four or five, it’s vital that good standards are implemented and safe practices are enshrined.

Furthermore, proper planning is required that examines the demand for school age childcare. We need to be certain that additional provision in some areas doesn’t duplicate or even displace existing services. In a sector where providers are already stretched financially, we must avoid scenarios where there is an over-supply in some locations but a scarcity in others.

International practices show us that investment in the early years sector will help deliver the best outcomes for children, parents as well as society as a whole so we need to ensure that we get our models and practices right from the beginning.”

ENDS

For further information contact
Daniel English
Tel: 086 1448 768

Share share share share
Tags: , , , , , ,
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine