Published on Wednesday21stNovember2018
Government launches First 5 Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, with Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone, Minister for Health, Simon Harris, and Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, Mary Mitchell O’Connor.
The ambitious ten-year plan will deliver:
- A broader range of options for parents to balance working and caring
- A new model of parenting support
- New developments in child health, including a dedicated child health workforce
- Reform of the Early Learning and Care (ELC) system, including a new funding model
- A package of measures to tackle early childhood poverty
The Strategy was jointly launched by the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone, Minister for Health, Simon Harris, and Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, Mary Mitchell O’Connor.
Also in attendance were representatives from the various Government Departments and State Agencies tasked with implementation. The launch coincided with a play morning at the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to mark the launch of First 5 and celebrate World Children’s Day.
Speaking at today’s launch, the Taoiseach said:
The Government wants to make life easier for families, while also providing children with the best possible start. The first five years of a child’s life only happen once, but the impact of their experiences during this period can last a lifetime. For this reason, the Government has developed the ‘First 5’ Strategy.
At today’s event, Minister Zappone said:
Experts, including children themselves, recognise the essential role played by families in nurturing healthy child development. That is why strengthening families is at the heart of this Strategy.
Alongside greater opportunities to balance work and home life through parental leave and flexible working, First 5 develop a new national model of parenting supports, ranging from universal to targeted - making parenting supports and high quality programmes more accessible to all families for the first time.
Read the full press release here.