Category Archives: Education

FG Senator commits to providing more quality childcare options for local families

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.

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Keane calls on Council to clarify plans for Firhouse Schools’ Site

Senator Cáit Keane, Fine Gael’s candidate in the Dublin South West bye-election, is today (Tuesday) calling on South Dublin County Council to elaborate on plans to dispose of land at a site opposite The Old Mill pub, in Old Bawn, Tallaght, to the Department of Education.

The site, if agreed by local Councillors, would provide for one new school.  The provision of a school at this busy junction would be subject to normal planning permission procedure.

“This issue was on the Council agenda last year but the land disposal did not take place at that time, due to considerable local concerns about the proposed site,” Senator Keane explained.  “That site, which was adjacent to Firhouse Community Centre, was considered totally unsuitable.  It is the only open space in the area, which is already extensively used by the football club and other local sports’ clubs. I have asked South Dublin County Council to take this site off the disposal agenda permanently,” she stated.

“The two new schools which opened in 2013, Firhouse Educate Together and Gaelscoil Na Guise, deserve proper sites and accommodation for staff and pupils,” Senator Keane continued.

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Funding restored to 30 organisations – Keane

Fine Gael Senator Cáit Keane has welcomed the announcement by the Government that funding has been restored to 30 organisations under the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO). This funding will last for 12 months before being reviewed by Pobal, and will cost €1.28 million. Just some of the organisations who will benefit include:

  • The Dyslexia Association of Ireland,
  • Irish Deaf Society
  • Arthritis Ireland,
  • The Irish Heart Foundation
  • Suas Educational Development.

My Seanad speech opposing the closure of the crèche at Tallaght Hospital, 29 May 2014

I welcome the Minister. I have spoken to him and the Minister for Health about this before. This is closing a crèche by e-mail. No parents have seen the report by Canavan and Byrne, only the board of management has seen it. Will the Minister ask for a copy of the report? What is in it? I visited the crèche and there is no reason it should close. The Child and Family Agency inspected it in August 2012 and there was no reason for it to close. As Senator Zappone said, it is due to close on 29 August. This must be halted and will not close without a fight.

Senator Zappone has outlined the benefits of child care, which I will not enumerate because time is limited. A parent has advised me she will have to quit her nursing job in the hospital. She starts at 8 a.m. and must be on the road by 6 a.m. Where would she find a crèche open at that time? Many feasibility studies have been done, but I am asking the Minister to ensure monetary and social issues are taken into consideration, for example the hospital may have to replace staff. The auditors charged the crèche €1,500 to audit its books, which it could have had audited for €1,000. Such things must be made easier. Continue reading