Getting the Best Start

Getting the Best Start
Getting the Best Start Cover

Read our Prebudget Submission:

Getting the Best Start pdficon_small

 

The following members and political representatives attended the launch of our prebudget submission – ‘Getting the Best Start’

 

[nggallery id=58]

 

Attended in Person

Senator Jillian Van Turnout
Senator Cáit Keane
Senator Pat O’Neill
Senator Terry Brennan
Ciaran Lynch TD
Michael McCarthy TD
Senator Colm Burke
Emmett Stagg TD
John Lyons TD
William Lavelle
Joan Collins TD
Maureen O’Sullivan TD
Donna Cooney
Senator Trevor O’Clochartaigh
Sandra McLellan TD
Michael Corleavy TD
Finian McGrath TD
Jerry Buttimer TD
David Stanton TD
Caomhín O’Caoláin TD
Thomas Pringle TD
Kate O’Connell
Frank Feighan TD
Senator John Kelly
Tom Flemming TD
Róisín Shortall TD
Pat Deering  TD
Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD
Ray Butler TD
Senator Mary Moran
Senator Fidelma Healy Eames
Dessie Ellis TD
Michael Conaghan TD
Michael Kitt TD
Dara Murphy TD
Miriam Hennessy
Ciaran Cuffe TD

Represented
Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Joe O’Reilly TD
Robert O’Dowd TD
Minister Paul Keane
Sean O’Fearghail TD
Tommy Broughan TD
Mary Lou McDonald TD

 

Dublin South West
Carlow/Kilkenny
Louth
Cork South Central
Cork South West
Cork South Central
Kildare North
Dublin North west
Children & Youth Affairs Office
Dublin South Central
Dublin Central
Dublin City Council (Clontarf)
Galway West
Cork East
Sligo/North Leitrim
Dublin Bay North
Cork South Central
Cork East
Cavan/Monaghan
Donegal
Dublin Bay South Candidate
Roscommon/Leitrim
Roscommon/South Leitrim
South Kerry
Dublin North west
Carlow/Kilkenny
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown
Meath West
Louth & East Meath
Galway West
Dublin North West
Dublin South Central
Galway East
Cork North Central
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Candidate
Dublin

Dublin Mid West
Cavan/Monaghan
Dublin Mid West
Wexford
Kildare South
Dublin North East
Dublin North East

   

Press Release

Early Childhood Ireland’s prebudget submission entitled “Getting the Best Start” challenges Government to move beyond the rhetoric and to make additional investment of €351 million in the early childhood education sector in 2015 via increased capitation, training and support for children with special needs
 
“The bottom line in our prebudget submission entitled ‘Getting the Best Start’ is that we are asking the Government in 2015 to invest €3,760 in care and early education for each child in a registered setting which equates to an additional investment of €351 million from the Department of Children & Youth Affairs.  This is in addition to the recommended €36 million to be ringfenced for the sector by the Department of Education & Science to provide better support in preschool for children with special needs which is urgent.  While this is a lot of money, we would remind people of the €300 million plus taken out of the sector in 2009 when the Early Childhood Supplement was removed. When considered in that context and taking on board the broad and ambitious goals outlined in the ‘The Report of the Expert Advisory Group on the Early Years Strategy’ and the more recent ‘Better Outcomes: Brighter Futures’, this level of additional investment is realistic.” This is according to Teresa Heeney, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland launching the organisation’s 2015 Pre budget submission at EU House in Molesworth Street Dublin today. 
 
This document published above follows a nationwide consultation process with the organisation’s 3,400 members employing 16,500 staff and providing services for 101,000 children nationwide. 
 
Speaking at the briefing today which was attended by Early Childhood Ireland members from all over the country, Teresa Heeney said, “We have really listened to our members and the resounding message coming through is that when it comes to early childhood care and education in Ireland only quality counts, but quality costs.  We must build on the investment already made in the sector; a sector that is characterised by too many examples of poor sustainability.  Our members are also keen to get the current free preschool year right before introducing another and investment in special needs education in preschool is a must.  Members recognise that the high cost of childcare in Ireland is due to inadequate funding or investment by government and that parents alone cannot carry the full cost of quality provision.  Therefore, we are challenging Government to move beyond the rhetoric and into the real investment that will be required to make this strategy a reality for young children and families in Ireland.”
The 6 key recommendations in “Getting the Best Start” are: 
 
Recommendation 1 – Increased Capitation for Free Preschool Year €22 million:  Increase of basic capitation rates by €10.50 per child per week on the ECCE free preschool year (from €62.50 to €73) with a projected cost in 2015 of €22 million.  A further €10 increase in capitation is recommended for 2016 and 2017, bringing capitation to €93 per child per week.  According to Early Childhood Ireland, “Sustainability is the dominant, pressing issue in the sector and is a significant threat to quality provision.  Capitation must fully cover salaries, rent, rates, utilities, food, equipment, administration, finance/auditing, health and safety equipment and training which is not the case in the majority of services today.”
 
Recommendation 2 – Support for Parents on the Cost of Childcare €244 million: The provision of standard capitation of €73 for all children (including infants and toddlers) in registered settings, thereby providing much needed support for parents to help address the costs of childcare with a projected cost in 2015 of €244 million.  The prebudget document highlights evidence from the Pobal (2013) survey which indicates that the least qualified staff work with the youngest children. 
 
Recommendation 3 – Graduate Staffing Fund €32 million: The introduction of a Graduate Staffing Fund providing a €7,000 grant to every service employing a graduate, which must be used as a direct salary supplement. The goal, it says, is “To move towards parity of pay with Primary Teachers (commences at €30,702) with projected cost in 2015 for this move of €32 million.”  Early Childhood Ireland stresses that qualifications within the sector have risen incrementally but pay and conditions have not. This, it says, creates a very real problem of retaining staff  within the sector as not only are wages low but many employees are tied to contracts which only run over the free preschool year 38 week schedule.
 
Recommendation 4 – Extension of Free Preschool year to 48 weeks €50 million: Capitation in relation to the current Free Preschool year should be paid over a 48 week period in line with the primary school system, with the 10 additional weeks providing for essential non-contact time in running this scheme.  Projected cost for this in 2015 would €50 million. This development, according to Early Childhood Ireland, is essential to create viable careers in early childhood, to retain qualified staff and to build on existing investment in training.  Within the existing model, funding only covers direct contact time with children (3 hours per day) with no funded time for all of the additional activities that are required of a quality service.
 
Recommendation 5 – Extension of the Learner Fund €3 million: Make the existing Learner Fund available to all existing staff and include Level 6,7 and 8 at a projected cost in 2015 of €3 million.  In parallel extend the new qualification requirements to include those working with Under 3s. 
 
(Note: adding  recommendations 1 to 5 = additional commitment from the Department of Children & Youth Affairs of €351 million.)
 
Recommendation 6 – Introduction of SNAs children attending preschool €36 million (from Dept of Education & Science budget):  The introduction of a funding strand to provide specific staffing supports which would enable services employ SNAs or access other specialists (for example, speech and language hours).  The projected cost to make this happen in 2015 is €36 million.  Linked to this, Early Childhood Ireland is also asking for increased and timely access to assessments so that children can fully benefit from Government investment in early childhood care and education.  It highlights the latest Pobal survey (2013) indicating that 45% of all services had at least one child with a diagnosed special need and almost 4,000 children with disabilities were reported in these services. According to Early Childhood Ireland, “These children are among the most vulnerable in our society and the absence of SNA’s impacts very significantly on their life experience. This issue must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
Ends.
 
Further information: Teresa Heeney 087 767 1481 or Carmel Doyle 087 2473537
 
Editor’s note:
Early Childhood Ireland represents over 3,400 childcare professional members who support over 101,000 children and their families through preschool, afterschool and full daycare provision.  Its work includes quality enhancement, publications, advocacy, training and information for a sector that employs over 24,000 people today.

 

 ______________________________________________________________

 

Update May 6th 2014

Preparations for the launch of the Early Childhood Ireland pre budget submission tomorrow Wed 7th May at 10am in EU House Molesworth Street are well underway.

Click here for map of the venue location.

Members from throughout the country are invited to attend this important launch. It is important that all parts of the country are represented and thanks to those of you who have registered. Unfortunately there are counties not represented by members. 

If you are in a position to represent the issues affecting the ECCE sector, particularly from a regional level, please contact us today to book your place at this event. Email rmelia@earlychildhoodireland.ie

 

Your Voice matters, use your Voice.

Highlight the importance of:  

Getting the Best Start.

Attend the Early Childhood Ireland Pre Budget Submission Launch

Representing the Voice of the Early Childhood Care and Education Sector.

 

The politicians who have confirmed their attendance are as follows:

Senator Mary Moran Louth & East Meath
Senator Jillian Van Turnout  
Green Party Election Candidate Miriam Hennessy Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
Senator Cáit Keane Dublin South West
Sinn Féin TD  Michael Corleavy Sligo-North Leitrim
Assistant to the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs Olof Gill Dublin Mid-West
Fine Gael Candidate for Dublin City Council Linda O’Shea Farren Pembroke-Douth Dock
Labour TD Sean Kenny Dublin Bay North
Independent TD  Denis Naughton Roscommon-South Leitrim
Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O’Connor Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown
Assistant to Senator Mary Ann O’Brien Kevin O’Ceallaigh  
Senator Fidelma Healy Eames Galway West
Sinn Féin TD  Caoimhghín O’Caoláin Cavan & Monaghan
Fine Gael Election Candidate Ciaran Byrne Beaumount-Donaghmeade
Fine Gael Election Candidate  Noel Rock North Dublin
Minister of State for Training & Skills Ciarán Cannon Galway East
Independent TD Finian Mc Grath Dublin Bay North
Labour TD John Lyons Dublin North West
Startstrong Communications & Campaigns Officer Tressan McCambridge Policy
Labour TD Emmett Stag Kildare North
Labour TD Robert O’Dowd Dublin Mid-West
Fine Gael TD Anthony Lawlor Kildare North

___________________________________________________________________________________

The Early Childhood Ireland 2015 Pre budget Submission is entitled Getting The Best Start and has been developed following a nationwide consultation process with members. Getting the Best Start has been prepared now so that it can be used by our members in discussions with local and European election candidates, as well as with members of the Oireachtas. It will form the basis of our advocacy campaign for additional investment in our sector for the next 12 months.

We will launch Getting the Best Start at an event in EU House, Molesworth Street Dublin on Wednesday May 7, 2014 at 11.30am. It is our intention to invite all TDs and Senators to this event in order that they can be briefed on the submission by a constituent from their county.

We are now pleased to invite our members in every county in Ireland to attend the event and brief their TDs and Senators. Ideally, every county will be represented by at least one member who will, together with staff from Early Childhood Ireland, brief the politicians from their local area. We want to ensure that a strong and unified voice is heard in these elections and throughout all of the pre-budget discussions leading to the 2015 Budget and increased investment in the Early Childhood education sector. We sincerely hope that many of you will be interested in attending to help us strengthen our message.

An information session on Getting the Best Start will be delivered to all attending at 10am on May 7 so that all members are confident of the messages and what we are calling for.

If you are interested in attending, please send an email to Rita Melia at rmelia@earlychildhoodireland.ie before Tuesday April 29.

Please note that due to room capacity, we must limit the numbers from each area to three

Hope to see you there! 

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More to explore

Safefood

Safefood

Early Childhood Ireland, in partnership with safefood, has developed the always popular Rufus Handwashing Resource Packs for 2021. We all…
National Pyjama Day 2021

National Pyjama Day 2021

We are delighted to announce that registration for National Pyjama Day 2021 is now open. National Pyjama Day 2021 will…
Budget 2022 – Renewed Government Commitment for Increased Investment

Budget 2022 – Renewed Government Commitment for Increased Investment

The Budget 2022 announcement last week saw a turning point in State recognition of the childcare sector with a commitment…

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More to explore

Safefood

Safefood

Early Childhood Ireland, in partnership with safefood, has developed the always popular Rufus Handwashing Resource Packs for 2021. We all…
National Pyjama Day 2021

National Pyjama Day 2021

We are delighted to announce that registration for National Pyjama Day 2021 is now open. National Pyjama Day 2021 will…
Budget 2022 – Renewed Government Commitment for Increased Investment

Budget 2022 – Renewed Government Commitment for Increased Investment

The Budget 2022 announcement last week saw a turning point in State recognition of the childcare sector with a commitment…