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This report will research and discuss the historical development of the ECCE sector in Ireland with relation to the Child Care Act 1991, equal opportunity act and more legislation that set up the grounds in developing the ecce sector. Next it will look at two ECCE provisions set up by the state such as public health nurses and child benefit. Then it will have a look at one health and welfare provision set up by the state. Then it will have a look at the equal opportunity legislation with legislation and policy that affect children in the ECCE sector. Lastly it will show how to maintain a quality ECCE environment that complies with current ECCE regulation and standers with relation to the pre-school regulations and the equal opportunity act.
In early Ireland most childcare was done at home by the mother or the grandparents. This is because the father in the family main role was to provide for the family and the mothers main role was a home carer. Only a limited few mothers worked outside the home. From the 1960-1990 Ireland was changing immensely with Ireland opening up to European and international ideas and technology base economy urbanizing Ireland causing families to move to cities and towns away from their extended family. More women were joining the workforce by the 1990s because the Celtic tiger, this made advocate support services to start such as Early Childhood Ireland. The Child Care Act 1991 and preschool regulations started the improvement of childcare in Ireland. The 1991 act gave the HSE the duty to promote the welfare of the child but this act was largely unregulated because an inspection system wasn’t established until 1997. The preschool regulation act improved the structure and the process of childcare in Ireland and also set up an inspection system. In 2000 the government came in with the equal Opportunities Childcare Programme for a national development plan was established to improve the quality of childcare and also increased participation. In September 2007 the updated pre-school regulations 2006 came into effect, these regulation gave the childcare practitioners very specific requirements on how their childcare service should be ran such as child to adult ratio, suitable nutritious foods, and register for the children and many more regulations. These are set to improve the quality of all ECCE sectors. The ECCE set up a scheme called the free year programme. This programme is set up to give children a pre-school year to get them ready for primary school and give them the first learning experiences and becomes the start of their social and learning development
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The Early Childhood Care and Education scheme gives parents the choice to put their children into a free year of early childhood care an education if they are aged between 3 years and 3 months and 4 years and 6 month’s on the first of September in which the service starts. Exceptions can be made if a child is verified as having a special need making a later starting date acceptable. The normal pattern for the free pre-school year is three hours a day over a 38 week period, if you go over these three hours you will be charged extra. Children over the age limit due to special needs might be able to be exempt from the age limit on the ECCE scheme if parents write to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs asking for an exemption from the age limit .Children with a disability are allowed to spread their free year programme over a two year period if they would benefit from this. There is no charge for parents availing this service. The state capitation fee pays these childcare services to provide the ECCE hours. Parents might be asked to pay for extra activities but these have to be optional and there must be other appropriate activities set up for the children not taking part.
The dyslexia association of Ireland (DAI) was founded in 1972 to work with and for people that are affected by dyslexia. The DAI provides information, offers suitable support services and help in representing and raising awareness about dyslexia. Their vision is for a society that is dyslexia friendly where they are able to reach their maximum potential. Everyone with dyslexia has appropriate support and identification to achieve their maximum potential in all aspects in life. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that affects reading and spelling skills with around 10% of Ireland affected. There are a lot of services the DAI provide such as information services through every form of communication. They have an assessment service that has a team of educational psychologists that work with children young people and adults. They also have other services like tuition for both adults and children who have been diagnosed with dyslexia. For people with dyslexia the dyslexia association website has every single bit of information that someone with dyslexia would need even putting a feature on their page so people with dyslexia who struggle reading black on white can change the background colour of the page to make is easier for them to read
Parents or guardians can claim child benefit for a child under the age of 16 or under 18 if that child is in a youth reach programme, full time education or has a disability. Child benefit is not eligible for children age 18 of over because in the eyes of the law they are now an adult
Child benefit for twins is paid at one and half of the monthly rate for each individual child, other multiple births is double the rate.
To apply for child benefit you need to apply within the first month of your child’s birth. The month you became guardian of the child or the month you family came to live in Ireland. To keep on child benefit after age 16 for a child with a disability you have to apply a month before the child’s 16th birthday. For children in full time education child benefit will continue until the month of June stop and resume that September when they start back at education. EU citizens living in Ireland can claim child benefit even if your child is not in the country, but if he is living in an EU country where regulations apply you should claim for family benefit that you are entitled to there. The child benefit monthly rate is €140 per child it increased by €5 in January of 2015
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Public Health Nurses are usually based in a towns local health centre and they are each assigned to different places and geographical areas all over Ireland. These public health nurses are employed by the health service executive to provide the community with a range of health care services. These services are provided in a range of different places such as community centres, day care centres, schools, health centres and in people’s homes they provide basic nursing care, advice and assistance to all their patients. For terminally ill patients they can provide weekend nursing and twilight nursing. Sometimes public health nurses sometimes visit mothers and their new-born babies. They also visit primary schools in arrangements with the school health services. Public health nurses keep a register for old people and people with a disability and visit them in some areas in Ireland. For people in Ireland with communication difficulties or disorders public health nurses can provide a speech and language therapy.
Equal opportunity legislation and mention at least three items of legislation and relevant to children
The main principles behind the equal status acts are that everyone equally has the right to live and participate in society’s services without being discriminated against. The people who provide these public services cannot discriminate against the nine grounds of discrimination that are:
- Travelling community
- Marital status
- The civil partnership ground
In relation to a child care setting all these grounds have to be followed, for example. A member of the travelling community has to be allowed to use all ECCE services and that child cannot be bullied or discriminated against in that service because of the family they come from where they live. A childcare worker has to treat that child the same as any other in their service
Another example is for children with a disability such as a child in a wheel chair. Public services must have the facilities to be able to cater for the child’s needs such as wheel care ramps and elevators so the child can freely move around the building
Another example is sex; a young boy cannot be discriminated against if he wants to do an activity such as ballet. Just because the majority of people who do ballet are female does not mean the young child should be discriminated against and also girls who want to do activities such as a physically sport such as rugby, this child’s decisions should be respected
Show how you maintain a quality ECCE environment that complies with relevant regulations and standards.
The preschool regulations are set to improve the standards in child care and to ensure the health, welfare and safety of pre-school children in promoting their development
In a childcare building there should always be a first aid box in the building. Should also be a person who has a qualification in first aid in the building at all times. On days outside the building with the children a first aid box should be brought along and the person with the first aid qualification should also come along with the children. This is to make sure if anything happened the child the child-minder is able to help the child. This links with the pre-school regulations 2006 regulation 6
In the 2006 pre-school regulations it clearly states in regulation 9 that: “A person carrying on a pre-school service shall ensure that no corporal punishment is inflicted on a pre-school child attending the service” (Anon., 2008) Therefore in the childcare setting every child should be respected there should be no practices that are neglectful emotionally or physically harmful, intimidating, degrading or disrespectful.
Síolta is the national quality framework for early childhood education, síolta is made to asses, define and support the improvement of the quality of practice in all ECCE sectors with children in their service ages 0-6 years. The16 standards give all childcare practitioners’ a vision to apply to all aspects of the ECCE practice; some examples of these are standards are:
Each child in the service has the right to make their own choices and decisions and all their own choices made should be respected, this is stated in the 4th standards of Síolta
Each child is allowed to take their own initiate in the activities that they do giving them the appropriately level of independence and support in the child problem solving, this is stated in the 1st standard of Síolta
These 12 standards give early childhood and care practitioners a standard of quality in which all sectors of the ECCE must apply in their services.
In this report it has looked at the historical development of the ECCE sector in Ireland talking about the roles of the family before the Celtic tiger, the childcare act 1991 the pre-school regulations 1996 and 2006, the equal opportunity act 2000 and the ECCE scheme 2010. The report then looks at two state provisions set up by the state, talking about the ECCE scheme set up to help people in disadvantaged and disabled children in Ireland, and the DAI (Dyslexia association of Ireland) set up to help and give people with dyslexia the information needed. Next the report looks at one health and welfare provision state up by the state that are, child benefit for welfare, set up to help parents with children in full time education or children with disabilities and public health nurses as health, set up to provide the community with range of health care services. The report then has a look at the equal opportunity legislation and mentions three items of policy and legislation that are relevant to children in the ECCE sector. Lastly, the report shows you how to maintain a quality ECCE setting with relevant regulations and standards talking about síolta and the preschool rights.
Anon., 2008. northtipperarychild.ie. [Online] Available at: http://www.northtipperarychildcare.ie/docs/Guideline-on-Developing-a-Behaviour-Management-Policy-for-pre-school-services.pdf [Accessed 29 5 2015].
Anon., 2015. [Online] Available at: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/social_welfare_payments_to_families_and_children/child_benefit.html [Accessed 29 may 2015].
Anon., n.d. gillmacmillan.ie. [Online] Available at: http://www.gillmacmillan.ie/AcuCustom/Sitename/DAM/058/Early_Care_and_Education_Practice_-_Look_Inside_Sample.pdf [Accessed 29 may 2015].
Anon., n.d. siolta.ie. [Online] Available at: http://siolta.ie/ [Accessed 1 june 2015].
Anon., n.d. www.hse.ie. [Online] Available at: http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/LHO/CavanMonaghan/Public_Health_Nurse/ [Accessed 30 may 2015].
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