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Fitzgerald, Frances

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

However, the Deputy's party is content to have people living on €87 a week. That is to have brass neck. The budget is a difficult one because it aims to restore the country's finances and get us ...More Button

Deputy Ross should not be ridiculous.More Button

Child Care Services Provision

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Cavan will be seen by the Health Service Executive children and family services local social work duty service; when the family may expect dialogues, inte...More Button

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy with the most up-to-date information.More Button

Was asked: if she is committed to the further development of accessible, affordable and quality child care, recognising its role in achieving economic and social prosperity; and if she will make a statement o...More Button

It is recognised that intensive and targeted early childhood services have the potential to significantly enhance the life chances of many children. Investment in early childhood care and education...More Button

Was asked: the number of children in low income households that will benefit under the community child care subvention programme in 2013; the way this compares to 2012; and if she will make a statement on the...More Button

The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) programme is implemented by my Department and provides funding to community-based childcare services to enable them to provide childcare at reduced rates to...More Button

For the purpose of the CCS programme, disadvantage and low income are determined by reference to a range of means-tested allowances and payments including receipt of a social welfare payment, Fam...More Button

Parental returns are submitted by participating community childcare services to my Department following the commencement of each school year and the information in these returns is verified by th...More Button

Was asked: in view of the low number of voluntary and Health Service Executive notified child-minders nationally, her plans to regulate this sector by bringing all paid child-minders under the Child Care Pre-...More Button

Was asked: in view of the fact that the only local support to non-regulated child-minders is provided through the Health Service Executive funded child-minders advisory worker post within a number of county c...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 159 and 160 together.More Button

My Department has begun work on Ireland’s first Early Years Strategy which will provide an innovative and dynamic blueprint for the future development of Ireland’s Early Years sector aimed at provi...More Button

One of the issues of policy which I have identified for consideration in the preparation of the new Strategy is the development of the childminding sector as a fully-integrated component of early...More Button

At present pre-school services are regulated under the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No.2) Regulations 2006, as provided for under Part VII of the Child Care Act 1991.More Button

Services providing care for children who have not yet commenced primary school are required to notify their service to the Pre-School Inspectorate of the Health Service Executive (HSE) and are su...More Button

The National Guidelines for Childminders, compiled by the National Childcare Co-ordinating Committee which oversees the development of an integrated childcare infrastructure throughout the countr...More Button

As is the case with all regulatory requirements, the Child Care Regulations set the minimum standards which services are legally required to comply with. However, my Department is pro-active in ...More Button

My Department provides annual funding to each CCC to enable it to support and advise all childcare providers at local level. In 2012, the total amount allocated to the CCCs was €11.3m.More Button

I understand that there has been reduction in funding by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to City and County Childcare Committees in some areas. The HSE has, however, confirmed that it will en...More Button

My Department also provides annual funding, totalling €2.85m in 2012, to the seven National Voluntary Childcare Organisations, who provide support at a local level to their members. More Button

Of the childminders covered by the Regulations, 257 had notified the HSE at the end of 2011, the last full year for which figures are available and also at that date, 1,250 childminders not cover...More Button

Was asked: if discussions have taken place with Health Service Executive regarding the discontinuation of complementary funding supports to county childcare committees as a result of a refocus of role of the ...More Button

Was asked: in view of the proposed discontinuation of Health Service Executive complementary funding used to provide essential low cost and accessible continuing professional development opportunities and qua...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 163 and 164 together.

 My Department provides annual funding to each CCC to enable it to support and advise all childcare providers at local level. I...More Button

Was asked: the financial supports she will put in place to assist full-time working parents who pay fees for child care provision who are outside the bands of the community childcare subvention scheme; and if...More Button

My Department currently provides targeted support to parents to assist them with the cost of childcare. This support is provided through the provision of three childcare support programmes - the C...More Button

School Completion Programme

Was asked: the funding being allocated for the school completion programme in 2013; the way it compares with 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The School Completion Programme (SCP) is one of three service strands, which also includes the Home School Community Liaison and the Education Welfare Service, being integrated under the remit of t...More Button

I wish to inform the Deputy that €26.456m is being allocated to the programme in 2013. This compares with an allocation of €28.256m in 2012. The allocation is in line with the proposals in the Co...More Button

In September 2012, the Local Management Committee responsible for each individual project was notified that a reduction on last year’s allocation would apply for the coming academic cycle. The fu...More Button

Each Committee was requested to review its Retention Plan to support young people who are at risk of educational disadvantage in their school, home and community life, to remain in education and...More Button

The NEWB, which is responsible for the operational management and direction of the SCP, has made assistance available to each local project to review its planned programme. The NEWB continues to ...More Button

The adjustment identified in CRE for 2013 and 2014 will be further considered in the context of a review of the programme to be undertaken in 2013. This review will address the potential to achie...More Button

A core objective of the review will be to ensure that available funds are appropriately targeted to support those most at risk of educational disadvantage and early school leaving.More Button

Departmental Strategies

Was asked: if she intends to consider or act upon any of the proposals made in the consultation (details supplied) Being Young and Irish that concluded in November, 2012; and if she will make a statement on t...More Button

Given the experience of my Department in consulting with children and young people, it was represented on the oversight group for the President's Being Young and Irish initiative. The recommendatio...More Button

In the last nine years my Department, and previously the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, has worked to ensure the establishment or consolidation of the following key struct...More Button

In March 2009 the Children and Young People’s Participation Support Team was created. The Team is made up of the staff in the Citizen Participation Unit of my Department and three regional Childr...More Button

In addition to their direct work with organisers of the 34 child and youth councils, the DCYA Participation Officers were involved in the planning and management of a wide range of children’s par...More Button

500 teenagers from the 34 Comhairle na nÓg around the country attended the first-ever Comhairle na nÓg National Showcase on Friday, 9 November 2012.More Button

On the day there were four TOPIC ZONES run by key decision-makers where young people could seek advice and support on how to become more effective improving the lives of young people in relation ...More Button

My Department provides opportunities for children and young people to contribute their views on issues of national and personal importance, and has conducted national consultations/dialogues with...More Button

A Thematic Group on the development of a national policy on children and young people’s participation in decision-making was established in 2011, comprising representatives of Government Departm...More Button

Early Child Care Education Issues

Was asked: in view of the fact that child care funding schemes are presenting more demands on childcare services to avail of particular training or have certain competencies, and that in service training is o...More Button

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme was introduced in January 2010 with the objective of providing one free pre-school year for all eligible children prior to commencing primary...More Button

Childcare services participating in the ECCE programme are paid a standard capitation fee of €62.50 per week for each eligible child enrolled for the free pre-school year. Under the terms of the...More Button

In keeping with the Government's commitment to increasing standards in the pre-school sector, a higher capitation payment of €73 per week is available to childcare services in which all childcare...More Button

I have been successful in maintaining the ECCE programme as a free and universal programme despite the reduced funding available to my Department. Funding of €176 million is being made available...More Button

Was asked: if resources for a national implementation programme regarding Síolta, Aistear and the national literacy and numeracy strategy will be a key feature of the forthcoming national early years strategy...More Button

The implementation of Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood, and Aistear, the Early Education framework, is being overseen by the Early Years Education Policy Unit of the Depar...More Button

The National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy was formally launched by my colleague,the Minister for Education and Skills, last year.More Button

Future developments relating to early years care and education are being considered as part of the preparation of the National Early Years Strategy which is expected to be completed in the first ...More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: in view of the announcement in budget 2013, if she will provide the full detail of the funding allocation to the youth sector for 2013; if an impact assessment has been carried out on these cuts; a...More Button

The Youth Affairs Unit of my Department supports the delivery of a range of youth work programmes and services for all young people, including those from disadvantaged communities, by the voluntary...More Button

Funding of €53.173m has been provided to my Department for the provision of youth services in 2013. Within this total funding, €1.75 has been provided in a new capital funding programme for 2013....More Button

My Department is working on the current funding allocations (total of €51.423m) for youth services in 2013. Having regard to the savings requirements identified in the Comprehensive Review of E...More Button

Going forward to 2013, my Department is developing proposals to streamline the existing five separate funding lines so that projects will receive one funding stream allowing more flexibility in s...More Button