Archive for the ‘Dáil Work’ Category
8. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he is aware of the integrated preschool unit at a school (details supplied); his plans to ensure its survival at that location and to expand services of this nature further to more communities. [10709/16]
Deputy Richard Bruton: On the specific preschool referred to by the Deputy, I understand the community facilities provided on the site in question initially provided accommodation for a preschool but that, following its closure, a new preschool has been opened in two classrooms in the school. It should be noted that under Circular 16/05, issued in 2005 on the use of school premises during the school day for purposes other than regular school business, the prior approval of the Minister should have been sought in order that the overall needs of the school could be accommodated. Proposals to the Minister to allow use of accommodation during the school day have been facilitated in the past, provided a school’s current and future accommodation needs are not compromised and the consent of the patron has been received. In the case of Holywell national school, future accommodation needs for the primary school intake will take precedence over the needs of the preschool. A proposal from the school concerned will be considered in that regard.
Clare asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he has plans to ensure that affordable childcare is available to all families. With the average cost of a childcare place costing €1,000 a month for one child, the lack of State action on this area is putting huge strain on families. Unfortunately, going by his response, Fine Gael and Labour won’t be introducing truly affordable childcare for families any time soon.
Clare challenges the Minister to review the legislation to beef up extremely weak oversight and monitoring of the use of surveillance powers by the Gardaí.