Dáil Éireann - Volume 592 - 18 November, 2004

Written Answers. - Child Care Provision.

  169. Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science the section in her Department which is monitoring the training, quality, quantity and delivery of child care. [29504/04]

  Ms Hanafin: Early childhood education and care is a horizontal policy issue involving several Departments and agencies. My Department is primarily concerned with the education aspects. Broad policy issues come under the aegis of the central policy unit of my Department.

To assist in the development of policy options my Department established the centre for early childhood development and education, CECDE, in October 2002 to develop, within a three year period, a quality framework for early childhood education and to develop, through active research with existing programmes, targeted interventions for children who have special needs or who are disadvantaged. The centre is currently developing a quality conceptual framework of early childhood learning and development which will be completed early in 2005.

In addition, Ireland recently participated in a major OECD review which assessed quality, access and co-ordination in early childhood provision. This review was published on 24 September and offers a number of important recommendations and observations which will inform policy and programme development in the sector and will assist the work of the CECDE, among others. The policy implications of the recommendations arising from the OCED review are under active consideration within my Department and also by the relevant sub-group of the Government’s high level working group on child care and early education.

  170. Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science if costings have been carried out on the recommendations made by the OECD report on child care with respect to her Department’s responsibilities. [29505/04]

[1548]   Ms Hanafin: The policy implications, including potential costings, of the recommendations arising from the OECD review are under active consideration within my own Department and also by the relevant sub-group of the Government’s high level working group on child care and early education.