Budget 2018 Failed to Deliver the Big Investment that is Needed
The Children's Rights Alliance's overall verdict on Budget 2018 is that children's early learning and development did not get the big investment that it actually needs to deliver for children. The additional spending allocated on early childhood education and care (ECEC) amounts to approximately €29m, with further allocations by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) to Family Support and the ABC Programme. The big winner in this Budget was Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, who received an additional €40m in funding.
Early childhood, given its uniqueness and impact on children's subsequent life trajectories, requires the delivery of the long awaited National Early Years Strategy currently being developed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. This must be accompanied by the development of a substantial multi-annual investment programme to deliver the strategic objectives of the Strategy. Everyone supporting young children's development and wellbeing requires certainty that they have the resources and know-how to do their best for children.
Here you can read our detailed analysis of Budget 2018 with an Early Years focus.