Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Childcare investment welcome but more needed

6 October, 2005

Sinn Fein MLA Michael Ferguson has welcomed the news that the new Children's Minister Jeff Rooker has secured additional investment for the delivery of 'out of school' projects or Early Years Project funding. The Sector was very clearly at risk of collapsing given that the European Funding that it has now been dependent upon was running out.

Commenting upon Lord Rooker 's Statement Education Spokesperson said,

"The intervention of the New Minister is most welcome and gives support to the need for a Minister that can look at the need for composite approach to the delivery of children's needs.

"The financial intervention does how ever need to be mainstreamed as such funding is in England and Wales.

"If we are serious about supporting the economy, addressing the skills deficit and meeting the co-occurring issues that affect a child's life then Early Year's Projects need to be mainstream provision and complemented by Extended School Projects that involve Parenting Centers, Playground Mentoring Schemes and Health and Social Service intervention programs including family support and speech therapy.

"It is also essential that the Minister support our campaign which is demanding a real budget to support education and learning because education from early years through to life long learning must be integrated and seamless and the current cuts to mainstream school services are compounding the levels of educational underachievement and consequently impacting adversely on the economy." ENDS

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