Published: 16 October 2019
From: Department of Children and Youth Affairs
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, this morning launched an Open Policy Debate on her department’s Draft Childminding Action Plan. The event is one of a series of public consultation events on the Draft Plan.
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs launched an online survey and a call for submissions in August. In the coming weeks a series of focus groups will take place around the country, to give childminders an opportunity to share their views on the proposals.
Designed to complement the focus groups with childminders, today’s Open Policy Debate drew together a wider range of stakeholders who have an interest in the future of childminding in Ireland.
The Draft Childminding Action Plan aims to recognise the valuable work that childminders do and to ensure they can access the supports they need. It proposes a phased programme of reforms over a 10-year period to bring childminding into the mainstream of regulation, funding and support.
Speaking at the Open Policy Debate, Minister Zappone said:“The National Childcare Scheme will launch in the coming weeks. Only Tusla-registered providers will be able to take part, and only parents who use Tusla-registered providers will benefit. That is essential if we are to act in the best interest of children, provide some level of assurance to parents on the quality of the service, and offer accountability in the use of public funds. However, I want childminders to be at the heart of the National Childcare Scheme; doing so is in the interests of children, parents and childminders; and so, we need to bring more childminders in to the sphere of regulation and of registration with Tusla.”
Minister Zappone continued:“Because of the significance of the reforms proposed – potentially bringing funding and support to thousands of childminders and to the children and parents who use their services – I decided to carry out a major public consultation on the Action Plan while it is still in draft form. The feedback received will be of great help as we revise and then finalise the proposals.”