Minister for Children launches Fingal County Childcare Committee’s Childcare Publications
Mr. Brian Lenihan T.D., Minister for Children today officially launched three new childcare publications developed by Fingal County Childcare Committee (FCCC).
Speaking at the launch in the Great Southern Hotel, Dublin Airport, Minister Lenihan commended the FCCC for producing a very comprehensive “Childminders Manual”, which contains detailed information and practical advice for all childminders. Its primary focus is on maintaining high-quality standards as they apply to all the diverse areas of childminding including behaviour management, planning children’s activities, nutrition, child protection and safety.
The Minister also welcomed the “Multi-lingual Information Packs” for parents whose first language is not English and who wish to access childcare services. It is available in nine different languages, including Arabic, French, Igbo, Lingala, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Yoruba and Irish. The Minister paid tribute to the FCCC for its foresight in undertaking this innovative task which clearly promotes social inclusion in our multi-lingual and multi-cultural society.
An “Assessment of Parent’s Childcare Needs” in Fingal was also published which was based on research conducted in 2005. Commenting on the research, the Minister said that “it was very encouraging to find that a very high percentage of parents reported satisfaction with their childcare arrangements in the area”. To address concerns raised around the cost and availability of childcare, the Minister outlined the Government’s new Childcare Strategy and the major new Childcare Investment Programme 2006 – 2010, which was announced in Budget 2006. The main elements of the €575 million Programme are to create 50,000 additional childcare places including pre-school and after school places; the provision of capital grants to community group and private providers; and training additional childcare personnel.
The Minister emphasised his commitment to ensuring that these targets are met in a way which takes account of the specific needs of parents and their children and said he was confident that he has been given the necessary tools and resources by Government to deliver on them over the lifetime of the Programme.