Early Childhood Ireland was delighted by the invitation to present our priorities for the newly-established ‘Early Years Forum’ and for future investment in the sector to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs on Wednesday 19th October. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs is a new Committee dedicated solely to children’s issues, having replaced the former Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children. Teresa Heeney, CEO, led the ECI delegation with Dónall Geoghegan, Director of Policy and Communications, and Paula Hilliard, ECI’s representative on the Early Years Forum and member of our Policy and Implementation Panel also fielding questions from the Committee. The Committee session was organised specifically to hear ECI’s views and what followed was a fruitful exchange with interesting questions from the Committee members, many of whom act as the political parties’ Spokespersons on Children and Youth Affairs in the Dáil and Seanad. The input from Paula Hilliard, who as an owner-operator of a small setting was able to really articulate and communicate the challenges facing the sector, was very well received by the Committee. You can read the transcripts from the session here.
We had strong pick up from both national and regional media following our presentation, which you can read below:
We see this presentation as the start of the conversation with the new Committee and the Policy Team here in ECI will continue to explore ways to further our objectives through the Committee’s work.