Expand early childhood care.
The first years of a child’s life are crucial to his or her development, and represent the time period where children gain the social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills that they need in order to continue learning and growing. It is at this point where differences in a child’s care environment make the biggest impact.
As a society, investing in early care and education is the most valuable investment we can make.
Fianna Fáil has a long history of recognising the importance of this investment, and it was for this reason that our party established the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme in 2010 in order to provide universal free education to pre-school aged children. We will further invest in this programme to increase accessibility and quality throughout the country.
How Fianna Fáil will expand the ECCE scheme
Invest in créches and providers
Increase access to ECCE for children with additional needs by investing in specific programmes for crèches and providers to upskill.
Invest in staff
Increase the overall quality of the ECCE scheme by investing in career pathways to retain and support the most qualified staff.
Extend access to two years
Ensure that all children have access to a full two years of the ECCE scheme.
Invest in quality and resources
Improve the ECCE scheme through further investments in quality and resourcing.
Core issues in Supporting Young Families
Childcare costs are at an all-time high, with the average cost of a fulltime childcare place for a pre-school aged child now at more than €155 per week, far beyond what is affordable for most people in Ireland.
Supporting Parental Care
The first years of a child life are a critical period, and it is no surprise that many parents wish to spend as much time as possible with their children when they are so young. Parental leave also benefits the wellbeing of parents.