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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone)

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Snippet Contents:

There are presently no specific plans to initiate a national long term consultation process on the future service delivery model for the early years sector in this country. However, a number of fundamental developments are taking place which are critical to the future of childcare.
My Department is currently in the process of preparing Ireland's first dedicated Early Years Strategy, as committed to in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures. My officials are also preparing a tender document to commission a review of the structural elements of the early years sector at national level.
My Department recently commissioned Crowe Howarth to conduct an independent review of the cost of delivering high quality childcare in Ireland.
The Programme for Government contains 14 commitments relating to high quality and affordable childcare. Over the last three budgets we have increased funding in childcare by 87%. Notwithstanding this, Ireland remains one of the most expensive countries in the OECD for childcare and clearly more investment and planning is required.