Education Minister's additional payments of £150 for pre-school places welcomed
Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Daithí McKay has welcomed the announcement from the Education Minister on the outcome of the Review of the Pre-School Admissions Arrangements.
The Education Minister has also announced that additional payments of £150 for each pre school place in the private and voluntary sector will be made for this year.
Mr McKay said
“It is to be welcome that the Minister will be seeking Education & Library Boards and the Pre-school Education Advisory Groups (PEAGS) to improve the data used in areas planning and develop plans to address the strategic planning of pre-school places. The commitment to seek extra flexibility in terms of enrolment numbers in the statutory sector is also to be welcomed.
“The allocation of a further one-off payment of £1.25million pounds to the private and voluntary sector is to be very much welcomed. This equates to an additional payment of £150 a place for this year.
“The report also finds that July/August birthdays admissions criterion can potentially disadvantage younger children in their pre-school year and the Minister will be acting to remove this criterion. He will also be moving to review and broaden the definition of children from socially disadvantaged circumstances
“This Review and its findings clearly demonstrates the Minister’s and Sinn Féin’s commitment to pre-school education provision and the commitment to provide a pre-school place to every family that wants it. There are many actions arising from this Review and these coupled with the publication of the Early years Strategy will lead to a much improved Early Years provision that takes into account the needs of children and their families.”