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Roadmap Social Inclusion

Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025

May 4, 2021

In January 2020, the government published the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020 – 2025 which laid out the Government’s ambition to “Reduce consistent poverty to 2% or less and to make Ireland one of the most socially inclusive countries in the EU”.

The Roadmap is the successor to the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion which concluded at the end of 2017. As well as building on the goals of its predecessor to reduce rates of consistent poverty, the Roadmap will also seek to deliver on the child poverty component of the National Social Target for Poverty Reduction and seeks to expand its focus to improving social inclusion, through a set of targets that recognise well-being cannot be measured by a single income-related metric.

The Roadmap includes a new definition of social inclusion to clearly identify what is to be achieved:

“Social Inclusion is achieved when people have access to sufficient income, resources and services to enable them to play an active part in their communities and participate in activities that are considered the norm for people in society generally.”

The Roadmap is segmented into seven high-level goals with 22 specific targets and 66 unique commitments (actions) to be taken to help deliver these goals.


The 22 specific targets cover the following areas:

Extend employment opportunities to all who can work • Poverty (including child poverty)
Ensure work pays – fair pay, fair conditions for workers • Deprivation
Provide income security for older people • Income Distribution
Support families – reduce child poverty • Housing
Reduce poverty among people with disabilities – help them to maximise their ability • Health
Build inclusive communities – encourage active citizenship • Early Learning and Care
Ensure that all people have access to quality services • Social Participation/Active Citizenship


Early Childhood Ireland welcomes government recognition that expanding the area of Early Learning and Care is a key driver in developing a more socially inclusive Ireland.

The National Childcare Scheme which the Government introduced in 2019 to replace various subsidy programmes, ECCE and AIM are listed as the key measures to achieve Goal 4, support families and reduce child poverty; and part of Goal 1, which is to address a lower employment rate for women in Ireland due to the need for childcare and its costs.

However, there is no plan to expand or build upon these pre-existing schemes outlined in the Roadmap. At the recent Social Inclusion Forum which serves as a mechanism to monitor and evaluate the State’s strategy to address poverty and achieve social inclusion, it was highlighted that the National Childcare Scheme as it is currently constructed may discriminate against children from low-income families whose parents are not in work or education.

Early Childhood Ireland will be monitoring the implementation of this strategy as part of our policy and advocacy work, and we will keep members up to date about any developments

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