Dáil debates

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Topical Issue Debate

Early Childhood Care and Education

4:55 pm

Photo of Donnchadh Ó LaoghaireDonnchadh Ó Laoghaire (Cork South Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State for her response. The figure of 91% is new to me. It certainly represents a substantial number. The Minister of State and I touched on the issue of additional funding provided by the Learner Fund. When people have additional qualifications, it has an implication for pay. We are very keen to emphasise that the increase in professionalisation in the sector, in light of our desire to ensure qualified professionals remain in the sector, will be reflected in pay.

This probably should have been dealt with earlier. That is not the fault of the Minister of State but there is a need to deal with it now. There was an option to be proactive and but it was not taken. There are facilities that are currently applying for additional funding, not only for training but also for the payment of staff. It is unclear to them whether they will receive it. They may but it is difficult to make a decision at this point. Is there any intention, through a revised Estimate or other means, to confirm for the facilities applying for additional funding that this funding will be forthcoming so they will be in a position to maintain their current level of service provision?


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