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Tougher regulation of creches must be met with investment - Early Childhood Ireland

The Minister for Children today announced more stringent regulation of the creche sector, but a representative body for creches says that regulation without investment is meaningless.

Adorable baby girl with a bite in her mouth
Adorable baby girl with a bite in her mouth
Image: Gelpi JM via Shutterstock

PLANS BY THE Minister for Children to impose stronger checks on pre-school childcare services are pointless without investment in the area, Early Childhood Ireland has said.

The representative body of preschools in the country said that Frances Fitzgerald’s announcement this morning that creches will have to be registered and more heavily inspected was to be welcomed, but funding was needed to back up the plans.

“In particular, we need a training transformation fund to support childcare professionals in attaining the minimum qualifications levels which will now be set for the first time with this draft legislation. Such a fund would subsidise recognized and accredited training programmes and incentivise the workforce to achieve higher qualifications,” said a statement from the organisation.

The statement added that the upcoming Budget had to be catered towards children.

“The stark reality today is that Irish investment in early childhood lags way behind our European partners at only 0.4 per cent of GDP, which includes expenditure for the early years of primary school.

Budget 2014 is the gateway to move towards an investment model of 1 per cent of GDP which is the minimum required and, while we can do this on a phased basis, we’ve got to make Budget 2014 a child friendly budget.

Read: Cabinet approves tough new measures for creches

Read: Did you miss the Prime Time creche expose? Here’s what happened

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