Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Robert Troy is to host a consultation session on early childhood care and education with a view to updating his current policy document “Investing in Tomorrow” to improve the sector for parents and workers.
Deputy Troy wants to engage with parents and service providers to find out what the main issues facing the sector are, and how they can be improved and remedied.
He commented, “Affordability and access are two of the biggest challenges facing parents across the country today. For the majority of them the cost of a crèche or child-minder equates to a second mortgage, with the average family forking out €750 a month per child. These rising costs are adding to the financial burden on already hard pressed working families and it is an issue that needs to be urgently addressed.
“The childcare sector has been launched into the spotlight because of serious deficiencies in some services, which have been highlighted as a result of high profile investigations and court cases. Parents and workers want to ensure best practice in all childcare facilities across the country, however, many of the recommendations contained in the Government’s 8-point Early Years/ Childcare Quality Agenda have still not been implemented. It is imperative that the Minister provides the resources needed to roll out these initiatives to ensure the support and protection of both childcare workers and children in the sector”.
Lecturer and Programme Chair for the Early Childhood Education programme at Dublin Institute of Technology Jan Pettersen is the guest speaker for the consultation session, which is being held at the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone on Tuesday 4th November, between 7 and 9pm.
“I am extremely keen to hear from parents and childcare workers about their experiences, and am anxious to work with them in formulating new policy plans and ideas, which can improve the quality of care and affordability of services across the country”, concluded Deputy Troy.