Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 30 Jun 1999

Vol. 507 No. 3

Written Answers. - Early Childhood Education.

Noel Ahern


203 Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will give an update on the early start scheme; the number of schools covered; if it is still a pilot scheme; when it will be mainstreamed; the future extension plans, if any, he has in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16946/99]

The early start pre-school pilot programme was introduced in 1994 and is currently in operation on a pilot basis in 40 primary schools. The programme is focused on schools in areas of particular disadvantage and can cater for up to 1,650 pre-school children.

The programme has been evaluated by the Education Research Centre over the period September 1994 to June 1997 and the evaluation report was submitted to my Department in 1998.

A White Paper on early childhood education is being prepared in my Department. The White Paper will set out my proposals for the future development of early childhood education services. The findings of the evaluation of the early start programme and the outcome of the forum on early childhood education which was held last year, will be taken into account in the preparation of the White Paper.