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Press Release, 8/09/2015: Childcare funding must be linked to quality

Start Strong – a coalition group campaigning to improve government policy on early years in Ireland – has today called on the Government to take decisive action for families with young children, by investing in early education and linking that increased investment to quality.

Boy building towerDirector of Start Strong, Ms Ciairín de Buis, made the call after media reports highlighted how parents can pay as much as €25,000 for a year’s childcare for two children - Expenditure which comes with no guarantee of the quality, and a limited and sporadic inspection process. 

Ms de Buis said:

“There is a real crisis of quality, affordability and investment in Ireland’s early years sector. For the Government to be serious about providing childcare to the standard our young children deserve, they need to be investing a lot more, using a funding model that links public money with improvements in quality."

“Childcare in Ireland is exceptionally expensive for parents, and yet it provides no guarantee of a high standard of care. International evidence shows that poor quality childcare can harm children. High quality early education, however, can be of huge benefit – not just to the child, but to the economy as a whole. ”

Ms de Buis added:

“No child should be in a poor quality service and no parent should have to be forced out of work because they cannot afford childcare. Nor should public money be funding poor quality services. The government should be investing a lot more money in our early education system, and they should invest it wisely. Linking public money to quality benefits children and their parents.”

“Investing in early years means ensuring public money is put to the best possible use. Start Strong also calls on the Government to audit the quality of early years services immediately.”

“With the economy turning a corner, the Government can now afford to put serious investment into early education. The October Budget is an opportunity to begin to catch up on other countries, and to start spending the money we need in early education. Childcare needs to be about more than pre-election kiteflying – this is about children’s early education and it's time for the Government to show they are serious about it,” Ms de Buis concluded.

ENDS

To read Start Strong’s Pre Budget Submission 2016 please click here.

For more information or for interview requests please contact Michael McHale on 087 4135641 or Ciairín de Buis on 087 1207103.

About Start Strong

  • Start Strong is a coalition of organisations and individuals seeking to advance children’s early care and education in Ireland.
  • Early care and education means the care and education of children in their early years, from their first months to the compulsory school starting-age of 6 years old.
  • Follow us on twitter @StartStrongIrl Like us on Facebook facebook.com/StartStrongIreland.