Written Answers. - Child Care Services.

John Bruton


133 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children the Minister with responsibility for children's legislation and child care services; and the nature of the responsibilities relating to children vested in each Minister and Minister of State. [24515/98]

As Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for children I have delegated responsibility for the Child Care Act, 1991, and the Adoption Acts, 1952 to 1991. The Departments of Education and Science and Justice, Equality and Law Reform also have major responsibilities relating to children. To facilitate a more consistent approach to child care issues, I was made Minister of State at the Departments of Education and Science and Justice, Equality and Law Reform early last year. The powers delegated to me in those two Departments are listed in Statutory Instruments No. 29 and No. 30 of 1998.

All Government Departments have responsibilities towards children. To give some examples, the Department of the Environment and Local Government has responsibility for the provision of children's playgrounds, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment deals with child labour laws and the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs is responsible for the children's allowance. Most Government Departments have responsibilities which impinge equally upon adults and children. It is not practicable to segregate the responsibilities vested in Ministers into those relating to children and those relating to adults.