Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1348)

Niamh Smyth


1348. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the case of a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; if funding is in place for same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18776/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department does not currently provide additional supports for children with disabilities to attend school-age childcare services.

However, the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) provides both universal and targeted supports for the meaningful participation of children with disabilities in the ECCE pre-school programme, will complete its third year of implementation in June 2019. An evaluation of AIM will then commence, which is expected to be completed in 2020.

The Government has made a commitment in First 5 , the Whole of Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families, to consider enhancements to, and/or extension of, AIM to, for example, all early learning and care services, all school-age childcare services and/or to children with additional needs other than a disability. However, I must stress that any decisions on extension or reform of AIM are subject to the AIM evaluation findings and other relevant developments, and no decisions will be taken until after the AIM evaluation on what the next steps will be in the further development of AIM.

I also recently announced that my Department will shortly carry out a public consultation in relation to school-age childcare, focusing particularly on the development of comprehensive regulations and a national quality framework to support quality improvements in school-age childcare services.