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Ferris supports demand for creche at Tralee IT

30 May, 2006

North Kerry TD Martin Ferris has voiced his support for the demand by students at Tralee Institute of Technology for a crèche to be made available. They are demanding that the shortfall in funding be made up to ensure that the facility goes ahead. Deputy Ferris was speaking in the course of a speech on the Institutes of Technology Bill in the Dáil this afternoon. He welcomed the Bill which proposes to give greater autonomy to the various ITs.

In relation to the crèche, Deputy Ferris said: “At the moment there is a campaign among students in Tralee to be provided with crèche facilities. This is obviously a crucial area and the fact that it is regarded as being so important is indicative of the changing structure of the student population and the increasing role of women within education.

“This is only one aspect of the relationship between an educational institution and the community but it is one of those that needs to be addressed if educational opportunities are to be extended. One of the successes that has been attributed to the ITs has been their role in providing education to communities where participation has traditionally been low.

“One of the issues here is the type of grants that are available and all of us here will be familiar with the problems that have arisen in regard to these. Many will also be aware of the large numbers of young mothers who wish to return to education and the importance of their being able to have child care. Part of that again has to do with finance but as the campaign in Tralee illustrates, much of it could be addressed if the actual crèche facilities were to be provided within the institution itself. I hope therefore that this issue is addressed quickly in the interests of all concerned.” ENDS

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