Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
942. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Education and Science the estimated cost of school books at primary and post primary respectively; the amount his Department plans to make available in the 2008/2009 school year to help families with the cost of school books; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41654/08]
Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): Notwithstanding the increase of €302 million in the Education budget for 2009, which is a real achievement in the current economic climate, a number of tough and difficult decisions had to be taken. These decisions included reductions on the aid for school books scheme which in the case of schools outside of the DEIS scheme will involve savings of approximately €7.5 million on current levels.
Approximately €7 million was made available in 2008 to DEIS schools for the aid for school books scheme and this fund of €7 million will be made available for distribution to schools in the DEIS programme in 2009.
943. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Education and Science the proposals that have been developed by the early years education policy unit of his Department in relation to the early education provisions strand of DEIS; the estimated costs of such proposals; the timescales for implementation of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41655/08]
Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): Within DEIS, the commitment given to Early Years education is that “The Department will work in partnership with other departments and agencies to complement and add value to existing childcare programmes in disadvantaged communities, with a view to ensuring that the overall care and education needs of the children concerned are met in an integrated manner.” My Department is working with agencies funded through the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs to improve the quality of childcare and education in DEIS pre-school areas and to work with these agencies on prioritising disadvantaged areas.
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