'Childcare': Business or Profession? - April 2015
A Start Strong conference in December 2014 saw the launch of our report 'Childcare: Business or Profession? .
The report found that much greater levels of direct public investment are needed to ensure high quality early year care and education for all children. It also compared the Irish market for ‘childcare’ to other countries with market provision in a section written by Professors Helen Penn and Eva Lloyd from the International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare, at the University of East London.
Read our 4 page Policy Brief 'Childcare' - Business or Profession? which provides a summary of the full report
Read our press release, "New report from Start Strong calls for professionalisation of 'childcare' sector"
Videos & Podcasts
Videos of speeches from the conference are available on our youtube page here.
Podcast of the speech by Professor Helen Penn.
Podcast of Panel 1: Questions and Answers Panel Discussion
Professor Helen Penn , ICMEC, University of East London; Professor Nóirín Hayes, School of Education, Trinity College Dublin; Ciairín de Buis , Director, Start Strong.
Podcast of Panel 2: A New Approach: Panel Discussion
Brian Lee, Tusla; Gary Ó Donnchadha & Pádraig MacFhlannchadha, Department of Education and Skills; Margaret Rogers, National Manager, National Early Years Quality Support Service.
- Presentation by Helen Penn, Professor Emerita Cass School of Education, University of East London “How can the Government Ensure that Early Care and Education is of High Quality in a Market System? Learning from International Experience” (Watch full, unedited Speech by Helen Penn here)
- Presentation by Nóirín Hayes, School of Education TCD, “Ireland’s Early Years Policies: Past and Future”
- Presentation by Gary Ó Donnchadha, Deputy Chief Inspector, Department of Education and Skills “A Focus on Learning in Early Years Services. The Quality Assurance and Support role of the Inspectorate”
- Presentation by Brian Lee, Director of Quality Assurance, TUSLA Child and Family Agency “Tusla’s role as a Regulator in the Early Years Sector: Now and in the Future”
- Margaret Rogers, National Manager of the National Early Years Quality Support Service,"Better Start. Working together for children"
Background to the Conference
Speaking in the Dáil on 29 May 2013, the day after the Prime Time investigation, A Breach of Trust, the Taoiseach said, "Child care is a profession.... I do not like to see this referred to as a business, a sector or an industry. Unfortunately for some, that is what it has turned into."
The quality of Ireland's early years services is very variable. Our market system has failed to deliver high quality across the board. This conference - and a research report launched on the day - asked what actions are needed to ensure that "childcare" is a profession and that all children have access to high quality early care and education.
Read our summary of the conference and report findings
For further queries please contact Lorraine at firstname.lastname@example.org