Minister Zappone's decision to pause changes to ECCE over-age exemption welcome - Denise Mitchell TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Denise Mitchell TD has welcomed Minister Zappone's decision to pause the planned ending of the ECCE over age exemption.
Commenting on the decision, Deputy Mitchell said:
"The decision to halt these changes are to be welcomed. Parents of children with Special Needs were alarmed by the decision to axe the exemption. Many children with Special Needs need some extra time to transition to primary school.
"The decision to end the exemption with little or no consultation with parents was wrong and that was reflected by the more than 20,000 people who signed a petition against the move.
"I welcome the Minister's decision to halt the change, and I hope the consultative process will lead to a solution that results in an appropriate outcome that puts the needs of children first."
Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Kathleen Funchion also welcomed the move, saying:
"The transition to primary school is an extremely important time in a child's life. Children with Special Needs must be supported in every possible way and if those children would be better prepared by delaying that transition then they should have that avenue open to them."