Imperative all ECCE weeks allocated are used – Smith


Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs should put plans in place now to ensure there are enough fully resourced Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE) places across the country.

Deputy Smith commented, “Every year we have a race on for ECCE places before childcare facilities can no longer offer them due to a lack of resources or staff. As of July this year, there were over 14,500 children on waiting lists for ECCE places, indicating the massive anxiety that parents are feeling regarding securing a place for their child.

“I have met with many parents in our constituency who have difficulty in finding a service which can fulfill the time committed to under the scheme. In the end, many children end up unable to access the two full years of ECCE to which they are entitled, because of the lack of supply.

“Childcare facilities signing up for the scheme ought to be adequately resourced, so they can provide ECCE places.

“I am calling on Minister Zappone to outline how the scheme will work, provide adequate resources and staff, to ensure all children in Cavan-Monaghan who enter the scheme will receive the full weeks they are eligible for,” concluded Deputy Smith