Press Release from Start Strong – 10th June 2015
“The government is, once again, failing young children” says Ciairín de Buis, Director of Start Strong – a coalition group campaigning to improve government policy on early years in Ireland. Ms de Buis was speaking in response to today’s announcement that the Department of Children and Youth Affairs has postponed by 12 months the introduction of a minimum qualification requirement for childcare workers.
“They must have forgotten that Prime Time broadcast, A Breach of Trust, but anyone else who watched it won’t have. The minimum qualifications requirement was introduced as a direct response to the mistreatment of children shown in the programme, and now they are delaying the requirement for another year.
Once again, the government hasn’t followed through on a commitment to young children – staff who have absolutely no qualifications in the area can continue to work in childcare settings.”
“In today’s announcement, the Government has shown that it has failed to learn the lesson of the Prime Time broadcast, that professionalisation and regulation are essential if we are to prevent the mistreatment of children.
“The decision also shows the scant regard the government has for those many early years professionals who do take their role seriously and have undertaken training to qualify in the area.” added Ms de Buis.
IDG on Childcare
An inter-departmental group is currently looking at the ‘childcare sector’ and will report back to James Reilly, the children’s minister, with recommendations by the summer.