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Press Statement, 4/01/2016: Renua Ireland’s childcare plan does nothing to address quality standards

Start Strong – a coalition group campaigning to improve government policy on early years in Ireland – has responded to the launch this morning of Renua Ireland’s General Election Manifesto, stating that its proposed childcare policies do nothing to ensure our country’s young children get the best possible start in life.

Director of Start Strong, Ms Ciairín de Buis, described the party’s policies in childcare as misguided, adding that, while aiming to address costs, it has ignored the need to invest in quality in childcare.

Ms de Buis said:

“Early years care and education in Ireland is suffering a crisis of quality, affordability and accessibility. For the next Government to truly address childcare, they must tackle each of these three areas.

Renua Ireland“Unfortunately, Renua Ireland’s direction in addressing Ireland’s early years sector is misguided. The introduction of tax credits for parents is simplistic, and will have zero effect on the quality of care our young children will receive. It is also unlikely to have any real long-term impact on costs and could, in fact, drive costs to parents up further.

“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:

“Start Strong has long campaigned for a childcare funding model that links public money with improvements in quality. Subsidised childcare needs to be widely available, with those subsidies directly linked to meeting quality standards. This, as well as a robust auditing process will ensure the issues of quality, affordability and accessibility are addressed by the next Government. It’s the least our young children deserve.”

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.
  •  Read our 4-page policy brief: ‘The Double Dividend: Childcare that’s affordable and high quality’.
  • Follow us on Twitter @StartStrongIrl | Like us on Facebook