Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children & Youth Affairs has announced that she has allocated €900,000 in the current year to allow both Early Childhood Ireland and Border Counties Childcare Network to commence delivering training modules commencing before end 2013.
The Minister said, “This funding will provide subsidised support to 630 existing childcare staff to commence training for a full major award at Level 5 or 6 to meet the new qualification requirements being introduced from September.”
The Minister added that “as part of Budget 2014, I have also allocated a further €1.5m in 2014 to support staff training and upskilling,”Minister Fitzgerald outlined the progress being made by her Department and the HSE in implementing other elements of her 8-point Pre School Quality Agenda.
The Minister stated, “During 2013 I have set about implementing a comprehensive Pre-School Quality Agenda, including putting in place much needed systems of support and regulation for pre-school services in Ireland.
“This includes securing an unprecedented allocation of €4.5m in Budget 2014 for quality measures; as well as major changes to the laws governing pre-school services.”
Regarding pre-school inspection reports, the Minister stated “As promised we have, for the first time, begun publishing pre-school inspection reports on the Pobal website.
“As of this week there are 1,672 pre-school inspection reports now online. This includes the first 12 new reports, with many more now to be uploaded.”
The HSE is currently at an advanced stage of recruiting 5 additional inspectors in Sligo/Leitrim/ West Cavan, Cavan/ Monaghan, Louth and Dublin South/East Wicklow.
€500,000 has been allocated in 2014 to increase staffing levels to strengthen the national pre-school system.