Amendment No. 163areads as follows:
In page 18, lines 8 to 10, to delete the definition of "pre-school child" and substitute the following:
"‘pre-school child' means a child who has not yet attained the age of six years;".
What is important in this section is to arrive at what is appropriate and what is the most suitable definition in the Bill. Before we came to this section, as members may be aware, I met with a group of people who are specifically and solely involved in pre-school groups, day centres and day nurseries. We went through this section very carefully and I felt that what they wanted and saw as relevant should come in for debate.
There seems to be confusion about the whole definition of pre-school and perhaps the Minister could comment on that. We all have a clear picture of what that is, that is, children who are in a school, a social school type situation or learning type situation, between certain age groups before they go to standard school. We have a bit of a problem and I did try to amend the title of the section. In the definition between day care, day nursery, pre-school, all of these terms indicate different things. I would be a little bit concerned, as I know the groups I spoke with are concerned that they are all being lumped together, when there are very different needs for different groups.
To discuss specifically this amendment, the feeling again is that it should be openended because, while I see Deputy Yates' amendment as being relevant as well, are we sure we are not going to be talking about children under this age of two years? Are we going to be talking about children from birth, babyhood and up? If you confine it to this amendment maybe it would be unfortunate, because it would not deal with and could not cope with the younger children. I would like the Deputy to consider this strictly. It is really dealing with Deputy Yates' point of view, only it is defining it a little bit more.