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Joint press release, 05/12/2012: Four leading groups call for all children to have equal access to childcare

Dublin, 5 December 2012 - FOUR LEADING GROUPS CALL FOR ALL CHILDREN TO HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO CHILDCARE

Start Strong, OPEN, Barnardos and the National Women’s Council of Ireland have rejected moves by the departments of Social Protection and Children and Youth Affairs to pilot specific after-school care arrangements for the children of low income workers. The organisations said that the move fell far short of a strategic approach to the development of comprehensive childcare for all children aged 0-12 years in Ireland and created a two tier system that would segregate children based on their family incomes.

The organisations said that the moves are a far cry from calls made by the Minister for Social Protection in April for a bankable, credible commitment to a system of Scandinavian style childcare and are a short term measure that will delay real and meaningful progress towards universal, subsidised quality services for children.

The organisations are seeking an urgent meeting with Minister Burton and Minister Fitzgerald to voice their concerns about her failure to fulfil the commitments she made in the Dail on 18th April 2012.

ENDS

Further information call:
Catherine Joyce, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos 086 3432542
Frances Byrne, CEO OPEN – 086 8143297
Orla O’Connor, Director of National Women’s Council of Ireland – 087 6483516
Toby Wolfe, Acting Director of Start Strong – 086 8159546