State finally admits that children under five do better at home

Minister of State at the Department of Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone, and Eira Visoka at the launch of ‘First 5’, Ireland’s first 10-year strategy for babies and children up to the age of five. Picture: Gareth Chaney

We’ve had two decades of relentless government propaganda for centre-based care from as early an age as possible, writes Victoria White.

This was not grounded in any research on possible benefits to children, but was about turbo-charging the workforce with mothers.

First Five, A Whole of Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and Their Families, which was published this week, is a sudden and radical shift. It may signal an important new beginning in the State’s relationship with children under the age of five.

It is based on research, some of it our own. What’s more, this research records what children themselves say about their own lives.

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