The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’ Gorman, T.D., has today published the Government’s First 5 Annual Implementation Report 2019.
First 5, the ten-year Whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families (2019-2028) was published in November 2018 followed by an initial three-year implementation plan for the Strategy in May 2019.
First 5 focuses on the period of early childhood, from the antenatal period to age five, and takes a joined-up, cross-government approach to supporting babies, young children and their families during these critical early years.
The First 5 Annual Implementation Report 2019 summarises the progress in implementing the strategy, with over 90% of all 2019 commitments met at this point. The Report also outlines key achievements from 2019, including:
the introduction of a new entitlement to paid parents leave and extended entitlements to unpaid parent leave;
foundational work to streamline and improve parenting supports across Government;
a range of new measures to promote healthier childhoods;
progress on key reforms to the early learning and care system; and
the introduction of new measures to tackle early childhood poverty.
Speaking about today’s publication, Minister O’ Gorman said:
“As Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, I am delighted to publish the First 5 Annual Implementation Report 2019 and share an update on the very considerable progress that has been made to deliver on the 2019 commitments.
“This Report illustrates the positive work that is taking place right across Government and society to ensure children get the best possible start in life”
The Minister welcomed the collaborative efforts and shared ambition to deliver on the vision of First 5 across Government Departments, State Agencies and the Community and Voluntary sector and reiterated Government’s continued commitment to First 5.
Minister O’ Gorman said:
“The Programme for Government reaffirmed a commitment to full implementation of First 5 and places children and families at the heart of our work. We are continuing to make good progress.
“Through this Strategy and the Programme for Government, we will transform services and supports for children and their families to help make Ireland a great place for every child to grow up.
“I look forward to continued positive collaboration with colleagues across Government Departments, State Agencies, Community and Voluntary sector and wider partners in the pursuit of better outcomes for babies, young children and their families”.
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