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Press release, 20/05/2011: Europe wants to provide all our children with the best start for the world of tomorrow

Start Strong
3rd Floor, 6/7 Exchange Place, IFSC, Dublin 1. Tel: 01 791 0100

For immediate release: 20th May, 2011.

Europe wants to provide all our children with the best start for the world of tomorrow.

Start Strong welcomed the agreement of European Governments, meeting in Brussels today, that all young children should have the best start for the world of tomorrow. The Ministers of Education from across Europe called on national governments to invest in children’s early care and education as a “long-term growth-enhancing measure”.

In doing this, the European Council recognised that “high quality ECEC [Early Childhood Education and Care] is beneficial for all children, but particularly for those with a socio-economically disadvantaged, migrant or Roma background, or with special educational needs, including disabilities”.

Start Strong welcomes this important European development, and hopes that our own government follows the European Council’s recommendations.

Start Strong Director Ciairín de Buis said “Putting money into early care and education should be an essential part of Ireland’s recovery and the sustainable economy of the future. This government has the chance to really make a difference to young children and their future.

“Investing in quality early care and education gives children a strong start in life. It’s one of the best investments we can make for our young children and our future. It helps break the cycle of poverty and in the long-term means lowers costs to the tax-payer. It is much more effective than intervening later. It actually saves money in the long-run.

“Quality early care and education lays strong foundations for later learning. We are delighted the European Council recognises that Early Childhood Education and Care tends to ‘receive less attention than any other level of education and training despite evidence that investing efficiently in quality early years education is much more effective than intervening later’” Ciairín de Buis continued. “We would be even more delighted if the Irish government were to take this approach, build on what we already have and make early care and education a cornerstone of their recovery plan” she concluded.

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