Consultation should have taken place before free preschool promise made says Early Childhood Ireland

Early Childhood Ireland has said consultation with the sector should have taken place before a second year of free preschool care was promised by the last Government.

Consultation should have taken place before free preschool promise made says Early Childhood Ireland

Early Childhood Ireland has said consultation with the sector should have taken place before a second year of free preschool care was promised by the last Government.

The introduction of the extra year was announced Budget 2016 and means 60,000 additional children are eligible for the scheme this year.

The group which represents the sector have said their members are facing significant issues relating to capacity.

CEO Teresa Heeney, has said an audit of the amount, and location of available places is urgently needed: “We need to sit down and we need to do an audit of where the places currently are, how many children there are and what the capacity gap is.

“Ultimately, it is the members of Early Childhood Ireland, it is the operators of pre-schools up and down the country that have to deliver on this promise.

“So parents and children can find access to quality services, close to home.”

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