Fine Gael bye-election candidate for Dublin South West, Senator Cáit Keane has confirmed that she is campaigning for a second free pre-school year.
“There is an increasing body of Irish and international evidence proving the benefits of early intervention for pre-school children in terms of improving outcomes and delivering significant returns to the state, both in terms of economic and societal benefits. The existing free pre-school year has benefitted thousands of families in Tallaght, Terenure, Citywest and Firhouse – providing educational and social stimulation for pre-schoolers, allowing parents time to work, knowing their children are in a safe and nurturing environment,” she stated.
“I believe a second free pre-school year brings positive educational and developmental outcomes for children of this area, equipping them with the tools for learning that will stand to them throughout their lives
“In addition to the obvious benefit to the children, the provision of a second free pre-school year free of charge would save parents between €2,500 and €3,000 in playschool or montessori fees per year. As uptake on the year is likely to be high, additional staff would have to be recruited, generating between 4,000 and 5,000 jobs around the country.
“This is something I have raised with my Fine Gael colleague, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. James Reilly TD,” Senator Keane continued. “From my discussion with him, I understand that a full review of the existing free pre-school year must be completed in the first instance, but the extension of the scheme to run for a 2nd year is something he is also in favour of, so we will be working together to try to achieve this goal,” Senator Keane concluded.
Fine Gael Dublin South West bye-election candidate, Senator Cáit Keane has today, (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement by Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Simon Harris TD, that an amendment is to be made to ease the rates burden on many local sports clubs.
“An amendment to the Valuation (Amendment)(No.2) Bill 2012 will mean sports clubs that previously paid rates on its bar and on sporting buildings, will now only pay rates for the part of the building that generates income i.e. the bar in most cases. In practical terms this will reduce significantly the size of the building for which sports clubs must pay rates and it will provide a welcome boost for clubs provided by volunteers for volunteers.
Fine Gael bye-election candidate for Dublin South West, Senator Cáit Keane has today (Monday) welcomed the news that Tallaght courthouse will not close as previously proposed.
“Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald telephoned me directly this morning to inform me that Tallaght courthouse will not close as planned,” Senator Keane explained.
“I have been making representations to the Courts Service and my Government colleagues for months about the proposed closure and am glad to see that these have been taken into account and that the right decision for this area has been taken,” she continued.
“Tallaght is an ever expanding area of South Dublin with over 70,000 people living here. It needs key administrative services to serve this growing population and closing the courthouse would not have been in the best interests of the citizens who live in the area. Tallaght is the administrative centre of South County Dublin and to remove such a vital organ of the justice system at local level would have been a regressive and very damaging action.
Fine Gael Dublin South West bye-election candidate, Senator Cáit Keane affirmed her commitment to providing affordable, high quality childcare for parents in the area at a Public Meeting in the Maldron Hotel last night. Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. James Reilly TD, attended the meeting.
“I have been working for Early Years services and interventions since 1991,” Senator Keane told the meeting.
“I want to raise the quality of early years care and education for our children through increased training for staff. Childcare staff carry out such important work and I would like to see them properly supported. Every euro we spend on young people reaps an extraordinary reward and having the best trained staff in childcare settings makes a huge difference to children and to their parents, who can see the difference this makes to their children,” she stated.
“I also think inspections of childcare providers should be increased, but it’s vital that the inspectors are trained adequately to do this job,” she continued.