Children's groups call on all parties to agree new intervention plan

Political parties are being called on the make the care of children, and early intervention programmes, a priority for the next government.

An event is taking place in Dublin this afternoon around the issue, with representatives from all political parties taking part.

The "Hands up for Children" campaign, consisting of 42 groups working in the children's and social sectors, wants state funding for the ABC early intervention programme to be doubled.

It provides speech and language therapy, literacy, parenting skills and social supports to communities most in need.

"We have come to understand … that the earlier you intervene when there's a diffiulcty, the better the outcome," said Marian Quinn, Chair of the Prevention and Early Intervention Network.

"We are in the run-up to a general election, and we wantt to ensure that outcomes for children are centre-stage in the next programme for government."

She said services were far too often dictated by a crisis rather then prevention at an early stage, and that is a key area the group wants to address.

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