Category Archives: Children

Children and childcare a real priority in Budget 2016 – Keane

Fine Gael Dublin South West Senator, Cáit Keane, has said that children and childcare are a real priority in Budget 2016.

“€85 million in childcare measures were announced yesterday in Budget 2016, making children and childcare a real priority for the budget. These measures will reduce costs for hard working parents, helping to make work pay, as well as improving the quality of the care available to their children.

“A significant boost to gender equality was found in the Budget in the shape of the first ever paid paternal leave, to start from next September. While two weeks paternal leave for fathers is not a very lengthy period, it sets a precedent for how families are understood in this State. We have come a long way from the marriage bar and I hope this is just a first step towards longer paid paternal leave in the future. Continue reading

Cross-departmental approach needed to improve standards in the childcare sector – Keane

Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, has urged the Minister for Education & Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, James Reilly TD, to introduce a strong cross departmental approach in order to improve standards in the childcare sector. The Senator made her comments while speaking at the Association of Childhood Professionals’ rally outside Leinster House gates today (Tuesday).

“With increased focus on the childcare sector in recent years, there is a great opportunity to achieve higher standards through a coordinated cross departmental approach. This rally is an historic event and I think it is important that the debate is opened nationally to raise awareness at both societal and political levels. I have spoken about childcare on many occasions but we must keep highlighting shortcomings until they are addressed.

“We need better coordination in childcare inspections in the early years childcare sector. For childcare workers we need to see the implementation of continuous professional development (CPD) programme.

“This Government is committed to improving childcare in the context of the early years education sector. It has been evident in the establishment of a new national policy framework; ‘Better Outcomes Brighter Futures: the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014 – 2020’ and the setting up of TUSLA, a new Child and Family Agency tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the health, safety and welfare of pre-school children attending childcare services. Since July 1st 2013, their inspection reports on early years services have been published on-line which is really positive and makes the information publically accessible.

“TUSLA also has remit over inspections of childcare facilities in the state as well as the DES section in the Department of Education and Skills who are currently developing an inspection programme. I am calling for the Department of Education and Skills and TUSLA to coordinate their inspection functions to enable a more streamlined approach to carrying out inspections with the goal of better outcomes for the sector. I support what the Government is doing in terms of pursuing better quality in the sector especially in light of recent media reports on malpractice in certain childcare facilities. I think it is vital that the Minister introduce a more progressive and fair pay structure along with a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme for those working in this sector, similar to structures already in place in the primary, secondary and third level sector.

“It is paramount that all stakeholders comprehend the importance of early years education for personal development of individuals in society. We cannot have good childcare and early education with a satisfied and appropriately qualified and remunerated workforce when we do not have all of the necessary structures in place. Therefore, I am calling on Ministers Reilly and O’Sullivan to introduce single and more coordinated inspections, and the introduction of continuous professional development for early years workers.”

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Keane calls for cross-departmental approach to improve standards in the childcare sector

Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, has called on the Minister for Education & Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, James Reilly TD, to introduce a strong cross departmental approach in order to improve standards in the childcare sector. The Senator made her comments in the context of the Seanad debate on ‘Improving the Quality of Early Years Education’ today (Thursday).

“With increased focus on the childcare sector in recent years, there is a great opportunity to achieve higher standards through a coordinated cross departmental approach.

“We need better coordination in childcare inspections in the early years childcare sector. For childcare workers we need to see the implementation of continuous professional development (CPD) programme.

“This Government is committed to improving childcare in the context of the early years education sector. It has been evident in the establishment of a new national policy framework; ‘Better Outcomes Brighter Futures: the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014 – 2020’ and the setting up of TUSLA, a new Child and Family Agency tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the health, safety and welfare of pre-school children attending childcare services. Since July 1st 2013, their inspection reports on early years services have been published on-line which is really positive and makes the information publically accessible.

“TUSLA also has remit over inspections of childcare facilities in the state as well as the DES section in the Department of Education and Skills who are currently developing an inspection programme. I am calling for the Department of Education and Skills and TUSLA to coordinate their inspection functions to enable a more streamlined approach to carrying out inspections with the goal of better outcomes for the sector. I support what the Government is doing in terms of pursuing better quality in the sector especially in light of recent media reports on malpractice in certain childcare facilities. I think it is vital that the Minister introduce a more progressive and fair pay structure along with a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme for those working in this sector, similar to structures already in place in the primary, secondary and third level sector.

“It is paramount that all stakeholders comprehend the importance of early years education for personal development of individuals in society. We cannot have good childcare and early education with a satisfied and appropriately qualified and remunerated workforce when we do not have all of the necessary structures in place. Therefore, I am calling on Ministers Reilly and O’Sullivan to introduce single and more coordinated inspections, and the introduction of continuous professional development for early years workers.”

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Keane welcomes national lottery funding for projects in Tallaght

Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, has today (Thursday) welcomed the announcement of €13,600 for projects in Tallaght which is being made available to groups through National Lottery grants. The funding was announced by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, James Reilly TD, this week.
This follows on from the awarding of National Lottery funding to 18 projects for older people announced by the Minister for Heath, Leo Varadkar last week.

The youth group projects receiving funding include:
€4,000 for St. Kevin’s Girls NS, Treepark Road, Kilnamanagh, Dublin 24 for the purchase of equipment and a summer activities programme
€4,000 for the New Hope Residential Centre, Kiltalown Cottage, Hazelgrove Golf Course, Mount Seskin Road, Dublin 24 to construct a new playground as part of a drug rehabilitation project
€4,000 for St. Dominic’s Community Centre, 60 and 60A Avonbeg Gardens, Dublin 24 to develop a natural play area
€1,600 for Killinarden FRC, Killinarden Way, Dublin 24 to provide a life skills club and grinds for Leaving Certificate students

Senator Keane said: ‘This funding will go a long way to assisting in the vital work carried out by these  groups in the Tallaght community to expand on the excellent work that they are already doing The funding will be used for initiatives that support young people, those recovering from addictions and others in the community who require services to help develop and grow their personal skills. I am confident that this funding will be put to good use and that it will be appreciated by those in the Tallaght area who are to avail of it and the difference it will make to their community organisations.”

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