Written Answers - Preschool Services

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 712 No. 2

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  482.  Deputy Finian McGrath  Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if she will support the case of a person (details supplied). [25089/10]

  483.  Deputy Finian McGrath  Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if she will support a matter (details supplied). [25090/10]

  488.  Deputy Finian McGrath  Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if he will support a matter (details supplied). [25148/10]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Barry Andrews): Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  I propose to take Questions Nos. 482, 483 and 488 together.

Early Start units were set up in the mid 1990s to provide a year’s pre-school education for children at risk of educational disadvantage. The Early Start unit in Kilmore West Dublin 5 is a full unit which runs two sessions daily and can enrol up to 30 children on each session. For the 2010/2011 school year, the Early Start programme was underscribed with fewer than 30 children enrolled. The programme was undersubscribed by over 50% and was no longer considered viable as a full unit. The Early Start programme, will however, continue to operate as a half unit for the 2010/2011 school year and will have more than enough places for the number of children who are enrolled in the programme.

Full Early Start Units are staffed by two teachers and two childcare workers. As the Early Start Unit in Kilmore West is no longer viable as a full unit, a redundancy issue has arisen for one of the two childcare workers. The redundancy and pension entitlement for childcare workers will be in line with the terms and conditions of employment for childcare workers in Early Start units in schools.


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