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Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Child Poverty (3 Dec 2021)

Roderic O'Gorman: I propose to take Questions Nos. 16, 17 and 24 together. I too had a good meeting with the ombudsman about that report and we discussed his ideas in detail. The Department of Social Protection leads on the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020–2025, which is aimed at reducing poverty and improving social inclusion. Under the roadmap, a new child poverty target is being agreed....

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Child Poverty (3 Dec 2021)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the announcement of that special unit and the process under way on the EU child guarantee, which is so important. I welcomed also the announcement today by the Minister for Justice on the regularisation of undocumented scheme. I have been working with the Migrant Rights Centre, the Immigrant Council, Labour Youth and other organisations for some time and have constructively...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Childcare Services (3 Dec 2021)

Roderic O'Gorman: I am aware that work is ongoing in the area of flexible working. Some of that is through my Department and some is through the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. I believe that a monitoring element would be really useful in the context of getting the take-up. We have seen a huge increase in the take-up of parental leave by both parents. Whereas originally and pre-pandemic it...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Childcare Services (3 Dec 2021)

Childcare Services

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Childcare Services (3 Dec 2021)

Colm Burke: 14. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth his views on the need for a career structure to be put in place for staff in the childcare sector in recognition of their vital work and the value of such work not only to the economy but to the development of children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59202/21]

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Childcare Services (3 Dec 2021)

Colm Burke: I will follow on from the earlier debate on the career structure to be put in place for staff in the childcare sector in recognition of their vital work and the value of such work, not only to the economy but also to the development of children. Will the Minister make a statement on the matter? I raise this issue from the point of view of the survey that was done which shows the lack of...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Childcare Services (3 Dec 2021)

Roderic O'Gorman: It is important for service providers to have flexibility in staffing arrangements and in how they structure their organisations. I also believe that a career structure will be necessary to support the further professionalisation of the sector and to make careers in the sector more attractive. Establishing clear and supported career pathways is important in improving the recruitment and...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Childcare Services (3 Dec 2021)

Colm Burke: I believe that the Minister will agree there is a very high turnover of staff in this area. Has the Department done research on this? What areas has the Department identified? What must we do now to ensure we do not have such high turnover? In his response to me, the Minister referred to people who are highly qualified. They are moving on to other jobs. I have come across people who...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Childcare Services (3 Dec 2021)

Roderic O'Gorman: The Deputy is absolutely right. Just like him, I too have met constituents and young people, primarily young women, who have done the four years of a level 7 or level 8 course, and who then decided not to go into the sector because they did not see that career pathway for them. As the Deputy noted, the issues are primarily pay and conditions. Childcare professionals are not paid enough and...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Childcare Services (3 Dec 2021)

Colm Burke: On the joint labour committee, which was set up by the Minister of State, Deputy English, will the Minister update the House on the engagement with that at this stage?

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Childcare Services (3 Dec 2021)

David Stanton: We are bringing in a sick pay scheme and it seems many of these workers cannot actually avail of that scheme because they have to sign on, and they do not build up enough time. Will the Minister comment on what are the plans to change that?

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Childcare Services (3 Dec 2021)

Roderic O'Gorman: It is my understanding that childcare professionals will be able to avail of the sick pay scheme on which the Tánaiste is working at the moment. I can certainly touch base with him on that. My Department has been in constant touch with the Tánaiste because we are aware that the lack of sick pay, particularly in light of the current crisis, has been a major issue for the sector. I...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Youth Services (3 Dec 2021)

Youth Services

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Youth Services (3 Dec 2021)

Brendan Griffin: 15. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if his Department will consider a new capital programme for new community youth facilities in areas in which no such facilities exist; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59374/21]

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Youth Services (3 Dec 2021)

Brendan Griffin: This question relates to how we could provide more facilities in our communities. I am conscious that our towns and villages are full of derelict buildings that potentially could be renovated and made available for young people as youth cafes or centres where young people could go and hang out to have some place to go on weekend nights. Many towns and villages around the State do not have...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Youth Services (3 Dec 2021)

Roderic O'Gorman: My Department works very closely with young people and representatives of organisations serving young people to make decisions around the prioritisation of available Exchequer funding. Their input in recent years has greatly informed budgetary decisions. For the past number of years, the annual capital budget available to youth services has been approximately €3 million. Decisions...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Youth Services (3 Dec 2021)

Brendan Griffin: I appreciate the work that is going on and good work being done. There is an opportunity in respect of towns and villages throughout the country, where there are many derelict buildings. There is a massive opportunity from a housing perspective but also to provide the types of buildings and facilities we know are needed. I refer in particular to former pubs and shops. Our towns and...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Direct Provision System (3 Dec 2021)

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill: I thank the Minister and I congratulate him, the Minister for Justice, Deputy McEntee, and the Minister of State, Deputy Browne on the work here. It is a very important piece of work and is a credit to all of them. I wish to raise an issue on which I have spoken to a number of asylum seekers and I know that this is not a universal one but is about the plans on housing. Many have told me...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Direct Provision System (3 Dec 2021)

Catherine Connolly: I thank the Minister, and for his clarification also on the independent advisory group. Will those minutes or reports be available publicly so that we can see them? It is not that I do not trust the Minister but we have had 21 years dealing with this issue. Even when I outlined the reports I forgot to mention the Ombudsman’s many reports on it and I am sure that I have not mentioned...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Direct Provision System (3 Dec 2021)

Roderic O'Gorman: I acknowledge the point made there by Deputy Carroll-MacNeill and the Minister, Deputy O’Brien, will be very happy if someone does not want HAP, if they can provide for themselves. We have always made provision where some people here are seeking international protection but do not enter direct provision because they are in a situation where they can provide for themselves. There is...

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