Fine Gael TD for Dublin North, Alan Farrell, has today (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, that the Cabinet yesterday approved a number of legislative proposals which will strengthen the registration and regulation of pre-school services.
“The proposed legislation brought forward by Minister Fitzgerald this week goes a long way towards addressing the serious irregularities in how childcare is run in this country. For far too long, this sector was ignored and left to its own devices with zero regulation or oversight, leading, in some instances, to children suffering from neglect. This was highlighted by the recent RTE Primetime programme which featured a childcare facility in north Dublin.
“For the first time, this legislation will allow for childcare to be regulated. It will allow the Minister for Children to set qualification levels for childcare providers to ensure that they have been properly trained in their field. All pre-school services must be registered and inspectors will be able to specify improvements that must be made in order for schools to remain operational.
“Since the first ever Department for Children and Youth Affairs was established under this Government, huge strides have been made in reforming this sector which was ignored time and again by previous Governments. Over 900 pre-school inspection reports have been published since July and I look forward to seeing the continued reform of how childcare is provided in this country to ensure that our children receive the best start in life.”