Second National Conference on New Childcare Investment Programme 2006 – 2010 : “Working Together for Children”
The Minister for Children, Brian Lenihan TD, has said much progress has been made in advancing the implementation of the new National Childcare Investment Programme which was part of the landmark childcare budget announcements last December. Mr Lenihan was addressing the second major planning conference on the implementation of the new Programme which is taking place at the Great Southern Hotel, Dublin Airport on the 29th and 30th of May.
‘Roll out mechanisms for the new Grant Application process have been put in place. The County Childcare Committees have embarked on a strategic mapping exercise to determine the priority childcare needs in local areas. My own Office has developed a new Childcare Training Strategy; and the County Childcare Committee Strategic Planning Process for 2007 to 2010 has begun,’ said the Minister.
The Conference entitled: “Working Together for Children” was attended by representatives of the thirty three City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs) and seven National Voluntary Childcare Associations (NVCOs).
The Minister acknowledged the commitment shown and the progress made by the CCCs and the NVCOs in implementing the new Programme. He noted that he had recently approved additional funding of €3 million for the implementation of the 2006 Supplementary Action Plans developed by the CCCs, to take account of their new expanded role under the NCIP. Mr. Lenihan also said that he recently approved capital funding of €2 million under the NCIP, for Private Childcare Providers and that he hopes to be in a position to announce further funding allocations in the coming months.
The Minister told the Conference that the new Office of the Minister for Children (OMC) was set up to bring greater coherence to policy making for children and that children now have a stronger voice on issues that affect them because, as Minister for Children he attends Cabinet meetings.
In conclusion, the Minister said: “Already, the new organisational structures which have been set up to deliver on the NCIP have enhanced the interaction between the key stakeholders. I would like to pay tribute to all of you on the professional way in which you have mapped out a constructive path forward. It gives me great hope that the delivery of the NCIP on behalf of the Government and the Office of the Minister for Children, will be successful and we will meet the ambitious targets set.’