Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions (220)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

220. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she has studied the submission of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare regarding the provisions of the early childhood care and education scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29765/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I am aware that the issue of additional supports for children who are accessing preschool services has been raised with my Department.

While additional flexibility is provided in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme to enable children with special needs to avail of the free preschool provision, there is no further resources available to my Department to provide additional supports for children who need specialist support in the preschool setting. Responsibility for the provision of any such specialised support is a matter for the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive.

You may wish to note that in this regard, my Department has been actively working with the Department of Health, specifically the Office of Disability and Mental Health, with the aim of building better supports to facilitate the inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream preschool settings.