Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Questions (493)

Robert Troy

Question:

493. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will consider a reduction in the staff to child ratio for preschool early education settings that are servicing children who ultimately will enter DEIS schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11791/14]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Childcare services are governed by the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) Regulations 2006. The Explanatory Guide to the Regulations recommends a range of adult/child ratios that reflect the age of the child and the level of care the child is receiving. These ratios are considered to provide the optimum level of adult participation needed to ensure the health and safety of each child.

The Pre-School Quality Agenda is currently being progressed by my Department and will introduce a series of reforms that provide for the further development of the childcare sector. As part of this programme of reforms the Explanatory Guide to the Regulations is being replaced by new National Quality Standards. There are no proposals to amend the child/adult ratios to make special provision for children enrolling in the pre-schools referred to by the Deputy and it is expected that the new standards will confirm the existing ratios.