Early Childhood Ireland calls for private operators to be included in funding scheme

Early Childhood Ireland has criticised the Government's capital funding scheme announced yesterday saying it excludes 70 per-cent of the sector.

The programme, announced by the Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald, will see €3m allocated for community childcare services, parent and toddler groups and childminders.

But Early Childhood Ireland, which represents 3,300 childcare professional members, said the scheme excluded 70% of those working in the industry.

CEO Teresa Heeney called for the reallocation of funds to make the scheme more equitable.

"Community services, childminders and parent-toddler groups can apply for funding, but the vast bulk of early childhood education in Ireland is provided by the private sector and they are ruled out of this completely.

"We've been on the Department already to ask why this is so, and to call for further funding to be made available so that all can apply for some support."

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