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Zappone, Katherine

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Disability Services Data

Was asked: the funding available for the access inclusion model for pre-school children with special needs over the past five years; the number of children accessing the model; the number of SNAs directly emp...More Button

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a programme of supports to enable children with a disability to access and fully participate in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. It ...More Button

AIM expenditure amounted to €7m in 2016, its first year. An amount of €22.2m was spent on AIM in 2017 and funding of €25m has been provided for AIM in 2018.More Button

Since its introduction, the universal elements of AIM have benefitted a large proportion of children in the ECCE programme, both those with disabilities and those without, through training and su...More Button

Targeted supports directly benefit children with disabilities and may also benefit children without additional needs, for example, where the adult-to-child ratio in the pre-school room is reduced...More Button

Level 7 of AIM provides additional assistance in the pre-school room where this is critical to ensuring a child's participation in the ECCE Programme. In line with emerging best practice to supp...More Button

AIM is not budgeted on a cost-per-child basis, as it combines both universal and targeted supports, and for many children with special needs the universal supports offered under the model will be...More Button

Child Care Services Data

Was asked: the amount of naíonraí operating here; and the number of children attending same.More Button

A Naíonra is defined as a playgroup run through Irish for children (aged 3-5 years), who attend daily for 2-3 hours, under the guidance and supervision of a Stiúrthóir (Leader).More Button

Research indicates that children make significant advances in Irish language development during their time in a Naíonra, which leads to increased use of Irish in their homes as their parents try ...More Button

Officials from my Department contacted Pobal who confirmed that, currently, there are 228 childcare services that identify as Naíonraí on the PIP system. Since the start of the current programme ...More Button

Child Protection

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 1676 of 11 September 2017, when a response from Tusla will be forthcoming.More Button

I am aware that a considerable length of time has passed since the most recent update from Tusla in relation to this matter. I have written to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency to request an updat...More Button

Was asked: her views on amendments made to section 22 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 from a child protection perspective in view of he fact that the separation barrier must only be 1.2 metres in hei...More Button

Was asked: if she is satisfied with section 22 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 from a child protection perspective in view of the fact that children over seven years of age will continue to be expose...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1140 and 1141 together.More Button

A core principle underpinning child protection policy in Ireland is that all sectors have a responsibility to keep children safe from harm. In accordance with this, Government policy is that chil...More Button

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Health, and, as the Deputy will be aware, this and any proposed legislation is circulated to Cabinet ...More Button

I understand that the Bill is progressing through the Houses of the Oireachtas. Section 22, as it currently stands, provides for restrictions on the display and advertisement of alcohol products ...More Button

Child and Family Agency Reports

Was asked: if she will provide a copy of the inquiry report by a person (details supplied).More Button

I have requested Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy. I have asked Tusla to furnish me with a copy of the response.More Button

Family Resource Centres

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 192 of 16 May 2018, if further funding will be allocated for family resource centre programmes in budget 2019; the category in which a centre (details supplied...More Button

Family support is an important priority for me, and the increased level of funding for Family Resource Centres in 2018 reflects this. Family Resource Centres are front-line services rooted in the c...More Button

At the end of 2017, there were 109 Family Resource Centres in receipt of funding from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Tusla was provided with additional funding of some €3m in 2018 to expand ...More Button

Tusla administers the Family Resource Centre Programme. As part of the decision making process in choosing 11 new Family Resource Centres to join the Programme, Tusla engaged with local Tusla sta...More Button

As outlined in my previous response to the Deputy, Tusla has advised me that the quality of applications received was of a very high standard. Tusla has indicated that the organisation to which t...More Button

Tusla has identified a need for family support services in specified areas of the country, including the Dublin 12 area. Tusla particularly wishes to develop its family support services in disadv...More Button

Decisions with regard to funding levels in 2019 will be taken in the context of the Estimates process. It is not possible therefore at this stage to advise on what level of funding will be avail...More Button

National Educational Psychological Service

Was asked: if funding will continue to be provided to schools for counselling (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In response to the Deputy's question I wish to highlight that the Department of Education and Skills through the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides assistance to all schools...More Button

Youth Services Funding

Was asked: if funding is available for schools or other organisations to provide safer social media alternatives to children and young persons.More Button

My Department does not provide funding directly to schools or youth organisations to provide safer social media alternatives to children and young persons. However my Department does provide gener...More Button

Affordable Childcare Scheme

Was asked: the estimated additional cost in 2018 of increasing the universal minimum subsidy across the affordable childcare scheme, assuming the minimum targeted subsidy is increased in tandem in 50 cent int...More Button

I am replying to the Deputy on the understanding that she is referring to the Community Childcare Subvention (Universal) Scheme (CCSU).

  As part of the Government policy to make...More Button

Early Childhood Care and Education

Was asked: her plans to introduce a second entry point for the ECCE scheme in order to ensure that children that turn two years of age at the beginning of a year and are therefore too young for the September ...More Button

Under provisions announced as part of Budget 2018 all children will be eligible for two full programme years (a total of 76 weeks) of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) from September 2018 o...More Button

Current ECCE provision averages at 61 weeks, up from 38 weeks when ECCE was first introduced. However, the three ECCE entry points, which were available for the years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018, mea...More Button

The number of entry points will revert to one at the beginning of the 2018 programme year (September). This single entry point will support quality service provision principally by making it easi...More Button

While there are no immediate plans to alter the ECCE rules beyond the changes being introduced in September 2018, my Department is currently reviewing the operation of overage exemptions in the s...More Button

Was asked: the estimated cost to roll out the routine delivery of Aistear across the childminding sector including those childminders not registered with Tusla.More Button

Roll-out of the Aistear curriculum framework is supported through initial education programmes for early years practitioners (including childminders) as well as through mentoring supports. The Nati...More Button

Was asked: if non-contact time payments will be available in 2018; and if so, when services can apply for same.More Button

I am pleased to inform you that the €18m paid initially in 2017 and secured in my vote in Budget 2018 will be paid to childcare providers in June 2018 in the form of the Programme Support Payment (...More Button

The window for applications for Programme Support Payment opened on Wednesday 6th June and will remain open until Friday 22nd June inclusive. The intention is that payments can then be made to ch...More Button

Frequently asked questions on the Programme Support Payment 2018 are on the Department's website.More Button

Child Abuse

Was asked: the number of Garda division headquarters that are collaborating with Tusla in relation to dealing with cases of child abuse in view of the recommendations by a person (details supplied); and if sh...More Button

I take it that the Deputy is referring to the development of joint working relationships through Divisional Child Protection Units being established by An Garda Síochána.

  I ca...More Button

Programme for Government

Was asked: the status of the implementation of A Programme for A Partnership Government as it applies to her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department reports to the Department of the Taoiseach on progress made in relation to actions under the remit of my Department and contained in the Programme for a Partnership Government. The De...More Button

I am informed that the Programme for a Partnership Government Annual Report, 2018, to which my Department has provided input, will shortly be published by the Department of the Taoiseach on its w...More Button

HSE Funding

Was asked: the way in which a person (details supplied) who was a resident in a location can access funding in relation to travelling costs incurred from Killimor, Ballinasloe, County Galway to Ballinasloe, C...More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising this particular case with me. I am deeply conscious that giving testimony to a Commission of Investigation, or otherwise revisiting difficult personal experiences, ca...More Button

I am aware that the Health Service Executive (HSE) provides counselling services and can provide transport services/supports in certain circumstances to assist in accessing services provided on i...More Button

I will make enquiries with the Department of Health on behalf of the person concerned and revert directly to the Deputy in this regard.More Button

Child and Family Agency Data

Was asked: the number of cases awaiting allocation to a social worker in each Tusla local office area in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Information about cases awaiting allocation is published monthly on the Tusla website. The most up to date data available is for March 2018. I can inform the Deputy that there were a total of 4,662...More Button

Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes

Was asked: if the assessment under the AIM programme for a child (details supplied) in County Cork has been completed in order that they can access the support they need in September 2018; and if she will mak...More Button

AIM is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with a disability can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. More Button

AIM is a child-centred model, involving seven levels of progressive support, moving from the universal to the targeted. The level of support provided depends both on the needs of the child and on...More Button

Where a child in receipt of targeted AIM support moves pre-school, a new application must be submitted by the new pre-school in collaboration with the child’s parents, as the level and type of su...More Button

AIM is administered by Pobal on behalf of the DCYA. The application process, which involves submission of an Access and Inclusion Profile, is currently open. Both the Pobal AIM team and the Bette...More Button

At present, Pobal has not received a new Access and Inclusion Profile for the child in question. It is recommended that an application is submitted as soon as possible. If the applicants requir...More Button

Departmental Funding

Was asked: the number of requests for additional funding, staff resources or expertise that have been made by Tusla since January 2014, in tabular form; the purpose of the requested additional funding, staff ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, funding requirements and how resources should be prioritised and allocated across each area of Government spending are generally considered as part of the annual estima...More Button

School Completion Programme

Was asked: if she has received correspondence from the Department of Education and Skills in relation to concerns regarding the school completion programme; if so, the details of those concerns; and the way i...More Button

While my Department has received no specific correspondence from the Department of Education and Skills in relation to the School Completion Programme I am very conscious that the Programme deliver...More Button

With this in mind, the Board of Tusla convened an expert panel to identify and examine a potential revised model of good practice and governance of the School Completion Programme. More Button

The panel comprised an external legal expert, representation of Tusla Educational Welfare Service, Finance, HR and Legal units, representatives from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, ...More Button

The expert panel has concluded its work. When I examined its findings, I decided to carry out some further discussions with a number of other stakeholders. To this end I hosted a very informative...More Button

Matters discussed included best practice and governance within the School Completion Programme. There was a range of views expressed as to how both these elements could be improved to ensure that...More Button

Following the Farmleigh event I have asked the facilitator for the day to do some additional work on a possible way forward, I have received this input very recently. More Button

I have deliberated carefully over this process for some time because the issues are complex and I want to achieve the best possible results for the young people who use the service and for the pr...More Button

I am very much aware of the positive outcomes that have been achieved within the School Completion Programme. More Button

For example, the proportion of students in DEIS schools who completed the senior cycle has increased from 68% in 2006/2007 to 82% by 2016. This illustrates the benefit of the programme.More Button

I can assure the Deputy that my Department and Tusla Educational Welfare Service are fully committed to the future of the School Completion Programme and will continue to work to ensure that it w...More Button

Cúram agus Oideachas na Luath-Óige

Is mór againn go léir sa Roinn seo cúnamh na seirbhísí chúram leanaí sa Ghaeltacht chomh maith leis an ról tábhachtach atá ag Naíonraí ar fud na tíre. More Button

San am a chuaigh thart, ní raibh na tacaíochtaí do sheirbhísí chúram leanaí a fheidhmíonn trí Ghaeilge i gcónaí chomh maith agus ab fhéidir nó chomh agus ba cheart dóibh a bheith, agus glacaim le...More Button

Go háirithe le sé mhí anuas, tá iarrachtaí móra déanta chun teagmháil níos fearr le seirbhísí chúram leanaí a fheidhmíonn trí Ghaeilge a áirithiú. Dáileadh leabhráin eolais agus póstaeir, a bhain...More Button

Tá Plean Gnímh 5 Bliana, a eascraíonn ón Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge, á fhorbairt ag an Roinn Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta i gcomhairle leis an Roinn seo agus leis an Roinn Oideachai...More Button

Chomh maith leis sin, tá obair ar bun faoi láthair chun a chinntiú go mbeidh rochtain ag Gaeilgeoirí ar ár gcórais IT amach anseo, an Scéim Chúram Leanaí Inacmhainne mar shampla, agus tá soláthró...More Button

Commencement of Legislation

Was asked: the sections and parts of all legislation brought forward by her Department in each of the past four years that have yet to be commenced; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Children (Amendment) Act 2015, the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2015 and the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017 have provisions awaiting commencement as follows:

  Children (Ame...More Button

Departmental Strategies

Was asked: the status of measures introduced to increase the national birth rate; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Following a clarification, I understand the Deputy to be referring to the Baby Box pilot initiative.More Button

"Baby Boxes" for newborns are to be trialled in a pilot under the National Early Years Strategy that is to be published later this year. Piloting Baby Boxes is just one initiative which will be p...More Button

A Baby Box is intended to welcome a new arrival to a family and acknowledge a very significant moment for parents. Key objectives with the Baby Box and linked communications will be to support p...More Button

The concept of Baby Boxes originates in Finland, and has been implemented in a number of other countries including Scotland, and consists of a package of items to assist with the transition to pa...More Button

Early Years Sector

Was asked: the grounds on which an application was not granted as part of the Capital Programme 2018 - EYC 2018 strand 1 in the case of a person (details supplied); the procedure to be followed in respect of ...More Button

Significant efforts were made this year to announce the successful applications for the Early Years and School Age Childcare Capital programmes earlier in the year to facilitate works over the summ...More Button

Over 1,900 applications for funding were received by the closing date of Wednesday 14th March 2018. All applications were appraised in a fair, thorough and impartial manner by Pobal on behalf of...More Button

I regret to say that on this occasion, Cadamstown Montessori's application under Early Years Strand 1 did not result in an offer of funding.More Button

The competition for the capital programme this year was particularly strong and regrettably this meant that many high quality applications fell short of the mark required to access the available...More Button

Services that were not successful have been informed that they can phone Pobal and request a call-back on their application. Pobal will provide them with feedback and guidance on their applicati...More Button

Child and Family Agency

Was asked: the way in which the €40.5 million additional funding for Tusla in 2018 will be spent; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In 2018, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency received a budget allocation of some €753 million from my Department's voted expenditure, which includes an extra €40.6 million over its 2017 allocation....More Button

Child and Family Agency Funding

Was asked: her plans to provide extra funding for Tusla (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

On the 29th May 2018 I announced that Tusla, the Child and Family Agency had identified 126 cases where births were incorrectly registered between 1946 and 1969. The cases were identified during an...More Button

It was during the course of working with these records and in particular the scanning of them that the issue of incorrect birth registrations was identified, with clear evidence of this practice ...More Button

As an immediate step, Tusla put in place a Helpline, operating from 10 to 4 each day, Monday to Friday, and also put significant information on its website. Both provide information in relation ...More Button

A social worker-led process of making contact with those affected that can be identified has commenced. This includes the person who was incorrectly registered (the child), the birth mother and ...More Button

Each of the 126 cases has been assigned an experienced information and tracing social worker and the cases have been prioritised.More Button

I acknowledge that responding to these 126 cases will put Tusla's information and tracing services under pressure and as the Deputy is aware, there is already considerable demand for this service...More Button

The appropriate mechanism to address resource issues is through the normal annual budgetary process. I would expect any additional resource requirements arising for Tusla in this, or in any othe...More Button

I would emphasise that the process will be measured, sensitive, and at the pace of the individual concerned. There will be no sudden phone calls or unannounced visits to people’s doors. The pro...More Button

Departmental Budgets

Was asked: her Department's capital allocation in each of the years 2019 to 2023; and the areas to which funds will be allocated in each of those years.More Button

The National Development Plan sets out the Government`s capital investment priorities that will underpin the new National Planning Framework. My Department has been allocated €156 million in capit...More Button

EU Data

Was asked: the EU fines paid in each of the years 2015 to 2017, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Deputy might note that no EU fines were paid by Department in the years 2015 to 2017.More Button