Government advisory group proposes increase in investment in early years education
October 2, 2013 by
Wicklow County Childcare in
The Early Years Advisory Group established by Minister Fitzgerald has submitted its proposals and recommendations for the forthcoming Early Years Strategy. The proposals include;
- Extend the entitlement to free pre-school provision, so that a free part-time place is available from every child’s third birthday until they enter primary school.
- Introduce the regulation and support of all paid, non-relative childminders.
- Increase investment in early care and education services, with investment rising to achieve the international benchmark of 1 per cent of GDP within 10 years.
- Give longer periods of paid parental leave for parents by incrementally extending leave at the end of the present period of paid maternity leave (six months) to a full year.
- Put public health nursing service at the core of a dedicated child health
workforce, including home visits to every child in the first year of life.
- Introduce a national parenting action plan aimed at making a range of universal and targeted supports available to parents.
- Review guidelines for pre-schools to ensure all children in early care and education services have access to outdoor spaces, either on site or in the local community.
- Introduce a national policy on access to pre-school special needs assistants, including guidelines on entitlements to such supports and on their role in early years and primary school provision.
To read the article in the Irish Times outlining the proposals in detail click here.