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Submission on DCYA Strategy 2015-17 - Oct 2014

Boy readingStart Strong welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in relation to the Department’s Statement of Strategy 2015-2017.

Start Strong has six recommendations for the Department's Statement of Strategy:

Summary of recommendations

  • The Department’s role in cross-Government coordination should be enhanced, to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of national strategies, and to ensure children’s interests are systematically considered in Government decisions. Specific actions should include establishing a dedicated cross-departmental implementation team for the National Early Years Strategy, and giving DCYA responsibility for “child-proofing” Government decisions and legislation.
  • Policy responsibility for early childhood care and education should be integrated within a single Government Department, bringing together responsibilities that are currently shared between the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the Department of Education and Skills, and the HSE.
  • In particular, the role and composition of the Early Years Inspectorate should be reformed, with the current Tusla inspectorate integrated with the new Department of Education early childhood education inspectors into a new, integrated, early care and education inspectorate.
  • The Department’s consultation with stakeholders should be enhanced, in particular its consultation with young children, which was notably absent from the consultation which informed Better Outcomes Brighter Futures and still remains absent from preparation of the National Early Years Strategy.
  • DCYA should develop and apply measurement tools to assess the quality of early years services, and to measure change as policy changes are implemented.
  • On specific strategies and actions, among the range of existing Government commitments on early care and education, priority must be given to the improvement of quality in early years services, in line with the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Group on the National Early Years Strategy.

Read the full Start Strong Submission on DCYA Strategy 2015 to 2017

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