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CDI Report highlights importance of early years' supports for children from disadvantaged areas

8 February, 2013 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien TD, has welcomed t a report highlighting the importance of early years’ supports for children living in disadvantaged areas.

The finding are contained in an evaluation of an “Early Years’ Service” that is coordinated by the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) which supports families in Tallaght West whose children face barriers to education attainment.

Deputy O’Brien said: “I want to commend the CDI for undertaking this important study. Its findings must be carefully considered by education minister, Ruairí Quinn and should influence how his department allocate resources to frontline services.

“The benefits of well-funded pre-school supports can be seen in countries like Finland and with additional help, children can overcome many of the barriers that otherwise would prevent them from achieving their potential at school.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, the evaluation found that children who participate in tailored programmes demonstrated a marked improvement in terms of attendance, behaviour and social skills upon entry to school.

“The report recommends additional targeted early year supports for children from disadvantages areas in tandem with existing supports. In particular, it highlights the importance of specific parenting support and educational programmes which can have greatly benefit children when making the transition to primary school.

“I will be raising the findings of this report with Minister Quinn and I hope he will act on its common sense findings.”

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