January 10, 2017
2016 was a year dominated by change both here in Ireland and across the world stage.
Early Childhood Ireland’s main focus was on the developments which impacted on our sector such as the roll-out of the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) and of course the Affordable Childcare Scheme (ACS). I’m proud and delighted that as 2017 begins, our organisation can claim a strong policy win in the form of the agreement by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to accept the principle of the 52-week model in the ACS. While there is much still to be ironed out ahead of the Scheme’s launch, this decision is welcome and means that the Minister and her Department are listening to the sector, which is vital if the Scheme is to be sustainable.
Sustainability of the early years’ sector for staff and operators remains one of our core ‘red lines’ as we plan and implement our 2017 advocacy programme. It was a key issue which we worked on ahead of the February 2016 general election, and we were pleased to see it get buy-in across the political divide. A big thank you to all members and parents who supported our #VoteforChildcare campaign.
There is much work ahead this year and we are already focussing on some key priorities such as:
In 2017 we will continue to provide the highest quality services for members:
We look forward to supporting you again in 2017 and please keep in touch. There are many ways to stay in touch: by joining our Policy & Implementation Panel, on our Facebook Page, by contributing to our Early Times magazine, or by phoning or calling into the office.
Sending you best wishes for 2017,
Teresa and all the team in Early Childhood Ireland