Childhood Services Ireland welcomes announcement from Government

January 01, 2021

Childhood Services Ireland (CSI), the Ibec group that represents the childcare providers sector in Ireland, welcomes the announcement from Government that the resumption of the pre-school programme is to be postponed until 11 January, in line with reopening of primary and secondary schools.  All other services are asked to reopen on Monday 4 January 2021 to ensure services are provided, particularly to priority groups, namely children of front-line workers and essential workers.   
In their letter to the Minister of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, on New Year’s Eve, CSI had raised its concerns that all necessary steps must be taken to protect staff and the children availing of such childcare services. 
CSI Director Darragh Whelan said: “Early Years providers play a crucial role in managing this public health crisis by providing essential services to front-line workers and essential workers. However, in doing so, Early Years providers operate with an inevitable amount of risk. It is of the utmost importance that the health and safety of children and staff are an absolute priority. As we stated in our letter to the Minister, the operation of an Early Years’ service should always be in line with public health guidance and regulations. We welcome the decision from Government this evening to postpone the reopening of pre-school programme until 11 January. The announcement that funding for the pre-school programme will be provided to Early Years providers for these closure times is also welcomed.”