Minister Zappone announces supports for quality improvements in the childcare sector, including €1.2m First Aid training fund
Roscommon CCC Manager, Irene Cafferky today welcomes Minister Zappone’s announcement of a range of measures to improve the quality of childcare delivered to children across the country in setting based services and with childminders.
Funding is to be made available to provide one free place (worth €250) on a First Aid Response training course for every registered childcare service, in a move that will cost €1.2m over a two year period. The funding will also be available to an estimated 250 childminders who are not yet registered.
Minister Zappone has also announced the introduction of a post-award bursary to support childminders who obtain a relevant NFQ Level 5 qualification, which is a requirement for childminders to register with Tusla. Further actions to support childminders will be announced before the end of the year in a childminding action plan which will assist with up skilling and quality assurance.
In addition, Minister Zappone has announced that Tusla is opening a recruitment campaign for nine new Early Years Inspectors, to strengthen the capacity of the Tusla Inspectorate. Historically, Inspectors could only be Public Health Nurses but this has been reformed to open these posts to individuals from a wider range of disciplines, including graduates from early years care and education programmes.
Speaking of the announcements, Minister Zappone said:
“We cannot rest when it comes to the quality of care and education we deliver to our youngest children. We know that high quality experiences provided at this young age can have a massively positive impact on the lives and future outcomes of our youngest children. I am delighted to be launching these further measures; each of which will combine to maintain our progress in building and delivering the best quality childcare system here in Ireland.”
Minister Zappone made the announcements on these new quality measures as Tusla launched a new Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF), which is intended to improve the consistency of inspection of childcare services across the country. The QRF was developed by Tusla in consultation with childcare providers and parents and covers the areas of governance; health, welfare and development of the Child; safety; and the standard of premises and facilities.