Professional Equality for Early Years Educators regarding Child Protection Training

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As a result of the Children First Act 2015 and the Children First National Guidance 2017, every early childhood education and care service in Ireland must provide Child Protection training for staff and develop a Child Safeguarding Statement for their setting. This is a positive development because we all need to play our part in ensuring the safety of the children in our care.                                                               
The Department of Education and Skills has agreed that national primary and secondary schools can close to complete this training and to work on their Statements. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has not yet given similar guidance to early childhood education and care services. 

We are asking the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs to extend our workforce the same professional courtesy that has been extended to our teaching colleagues at primary and secondary level. We need

  1. Approval for ECCE services to close for training and developing their CSS, while retaining their funding
  2. Additional funding to facilitate full day care services to develop their CSS and to provide child protection training for their staff

The DCYA is the sole funder for the ECCE Programme. Current capitation rates are already stretched to cover all aspects of the service that we provide so there is no additional funding available to pay for new requirements such as child protection training and developing the CSS.                                                                                    
We know that the CSS and subsequent training must be in place by March 11th so we are calling on the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs to respond to our request, in a timely manner, so that we can meet this deadline.