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Press Release, 04/09/2014: Start Strong welcomes review of programmes for those qualifying in early years care and education

Early years educatorReview must make a real difference to young children.

Dublin September 4th –

Start Strong - a coalition of organisations and individuals seeking to advance children’s early care and education in Ireland – welcomed the review announced today by the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, TD.

Welcoming the review, Ciairín de Buis, Director of Start Strong, highlighted the importance of children’s early years: “Early Years are a crucial time in a child’s life. They can shape a child’s future and lay the foundation for future education and opportunities. But the quality of a child’s early education very much depends on the adults working with young children.”

“Ireland needs to have a high-quality early education system, if we are to give our young children the best possible start in life. To do that, we need to ensure that those working with young children are equipped with the training, skills and knowledge to facilitate that early learning experience. This review of education and training programmes that lead to qualifications in early care and education is a welcome step towards that,” Ms. de Buis said.

“It’s important the issue of qualifications and the quality of those qualifications also informs the National Early Years Strategy currently being developed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.” Ms. de Buis continued “Only about 12% of those currently working in the area are graduates, well below the EU CoRe recommendation of 60%. Significant reforms are needed, not just of the qualification programmes but also around pay and working conditions to ensure that we not only recruit quality graduates, but that we retain them within early years education”.

Ends

Contact

For more information please contact Ciairín de Buis, Director, Start Strong - 087 1207 103 or 01 6624019

Note to Editor

  • Start Strong is a coalition of organisations and individuals seeking to advance children’s early care and education in Ireland. www.startstrong.ie
  • Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD today announced a review of education and training programmes that lead to qualifications in early years care and education. http://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2014-Press-Releases/PR14-09-04.html
  • In January 2012 the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald TD announced her intention to develop Ireland’s first National Early Years Strategy.
  • A major EU study in 2011 'Competence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care' (CoRe Report) recommends that 60% of early childhood educators should be graduates, with at least one member of staff qualified to this level in each ‘room’ or with each group of children.

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