Monday, February 27, 2017
The Children’s Rights Alliance welcomes the publication of the Heads of Bill and General Scheme for the Affordable Childcare Scheme and the opportunity to make a submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs to inform its pre-legislative scrutiny process.
The Children’s Rights Alliance’s work in Early Childhood Education and Care builds upon and continues the legacy of Start Strong. From 2009, Start Strong was an influential force in Irish early years’ policy development and advocacy, uniting a coalition of supporter organisations and individuals around the goal of advancing high quality care and education as a right for all young children in Ireland. Start Strong wound down in summer 2016. To continue Start Strong’s legacy, aspects of their work are being continued in the Children’s Rights Alliance, supported with funding from the Katharine Howard Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and the Community Foundation for Ireland.
The Children’s Rights Alliance considers that the Affordable Childcare Scheme (ACS) has the potential to provide a foundation for multi-annual planning and investment in quality, child-centred Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) (from here on in called childcare) and school-age childcare provision. We welcome the ACS to improve affordability for parents, support access to childcare services for children, and become a vital component of a whole-of-Government approach to ending child poverty.