Wednesday, 26 May 2021
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
193. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if a person (details supplied) will have to give up their current employment on a date; if not, if they will be given an extension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28476/21]
When the minimum qualification requirement for working in early learning and care was introduced in 2016, the so-called Grandfathering Declaration process allowed for unqualified staff who were planning to retire over the coming years to sign a declaration that enabled them to work without qualification for a 5-year period up to 31 August 2021.
On 19th May, in recognition of the exceptional circumstances and disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, my Department announced a limited extension to the Grandfathering Declaration for practitioners who agree to undertake a relevant qualification during the period of the extension.
If a practitioner is interested in obtaining an extension to their Grandfathering Declaration, they should contact their local City / County Childcare Committee (CCC) at the earliest opportunity. The CCC will be the relevant contact point for approval of extensions and for providing supports and advice.
If a practitioner does not wish to avail of this extension opportunity, the original terms of the Grandfathering Declaration will continue to apply. In these instances, the County Childcare Committees will be in a position to provide some practical advice to services.
The minimum qualification requirement was introduced to raise the quality of provision for children and improve child outcomes. Building on this qualification requirement, and in line with First 5 (the whole-of-Government strategy for babies, young children and their families), my Department is currently developing a Workforce Development Plan which will set out actions to support professionalisation of the workforce, including achieving a graduate-led workforce and raising the profile of careers in the sector by 2028.