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Withdrawal of over-age exemption for ECCE scheme cause of concern for parents - Denise Mitchell TD

30 November, 2017 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Denise Mitchell, has expressed serious concern at the withdrawal of the over-age exemption for ECCE scheme for children with special needs.

Speaking today, Deputy Mitchell said:

“I am very concerned by the decision of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to withdraw the over-age exemption from September 2018.

"It appears there was little consultation with Early Years providers on this issue and this will cause great distress to many parents throughout the State.

“Many children with special needs need some amount of extra time to prepare before transitioning to national school.

"The needs of all children are different and the Department needs to explain why it believes a one-size fits-all approach on this issue is appropriate or in the best needs of the child.

“This decision appears to contradict the Department’s own commitment to recognising diversity in terms of children’s experiences, abilities and needs.

"The Department should be working towards accommodating children with special needs and I would call on the Minister to reconsider this decision.”

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