The Government has just published the 2012 edition of the annual State of the Nation’s Children report. The report draws together the latest statistics across a range of indicators of children’s health, education, behaviour, relationships, well-being and the supports available to them. The report shows that more than 1.1 million children are now living in the State as a result of the baby boom. The child population continued to rise in the decade to 2011, with a 13.4% surge recorded which has led to Ireland having the highest percentage of children – at 25% of the total population – in the EU community.
As regards early care and education, the report says that the number of services offering the Free Pre-School Year rose 10% between 2010 and 2011, to reach 4,162. The proportion of those services that received the higher capitation grant rose from 11.0% to 14.6% in this period.