Dáil Éireann - Volume 491 - 03 June, 1998

Written Answers. - Early Childhood Education.

287. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science the targets, if any, he has set for additional recruitment of child care workers to the Early Start programme or to the programme of providing child care assistance to children with special education needs; and whether it is likely that recruitment will start in 1998 or in later years. [12735/98]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): The Deputy will be aware that I recently held a national forum on early childhood education. My objective in holding the forum was to allow all groups with an interest in the area of early childhood education to put forward their views as to how best to co-ordinate and support the future development of services in this area.

A report on the proceedings and conclusions of the forum is currently being prepared by the independent secretariat and will be published under the authority of the secretary general to the forum. Following consideration of this report, it is my intention to publish a White Paper setting out my proposals for the future development of early childhood education services.

I am currently reviewing provision across the special needs area to ensure that all available resources are deployed as effectively as possible. The issue of child care assistant support for special needs children will be fully examined as part of this process.