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Ireland is missing targets on the provision of childcare

Figures from the EU statistics agency Eurostat show that fewer young children in Ireland are being cared for in formal structures.

File photo posed by models
File photo posed by models
Image: Kids with tablet via Shutterstock

IRELAND IS MISSING European Union targets for the provision of care for children, according to data from the bloc’s statistics agency Eurostat.

Ireland is one of three countries – Spain and the Netherlands are the others – which shows a fall in provision of childcare to 90 per cent of children between the age of three and the mandatory school age having previously hit the EU target in 2010.

Just eight countries have met the so-called Barcelona targets, agreed by EU leaders 11 years ago, that childcare should be provided to 90 per cent of children between three and school age and 33 pet cent of children under three.

“Childcare provision should not be seen as a cost, but as an investment in tomorrow,” Viviane Reding, the EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, said.

In Ireland, eighty-one per cent of children between three and school age were cared for in formal structures in 2011, down from the 90 per cent target that the country reached in 2010.

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Meanwhile for those under the age of three Ireland is continuing to miss the 33 per cent target with just over a fifth of children under that age cared for in formal structures in 2011, down from nearly 30 per cent in 2010.

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More: Oireachtas Health Committee to meet HSE on creche issues

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Hugh O'Connell

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