Thursday 29 September 2016

Free dental healthcare programmes for under 12s

Published 06/05/2016 | 02:30

Free dental healthcare programmes for every child under 12 will be introduced by the new government. (Stock photo)
Free dental healthcare programmes for every child under 12 will be introduced by the new government. (Stock photo)

Free dental healthcare programmes for every child under 12 will be introduced by the new government.

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The draft programme for government pledges to roll out a comprehensive 'preventive dental health programme' in addition to existing free dental checks.

Parental leave, which is due to increase to 28 weeks in September, will be increased further.

State supports will be introduced to reduce childcare costs and stay-at-home parents will benefit from an increase in the home carers credit.

There are also commitments to recognise the value of childminders and informal family childcare.

Primary school buildings will be used as after-school care centres and community groups and private operators will be invited to tender to provide the service.

PE will become an optional subject for the Leaving Cert and there will be further investment in sporting organisations.

A new speech and language service will also be established in schools to support young people.

Extra funding will be given to the National Education Psychologists Service.

A national means testing body will be introduced to consolidate services provided by various government agencies.

A dedicated Prevention and Early Intervention Unit will be set up in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Finance within 100 days.

The unit will focus on policies that can improve the life outcomes for children and older people.

Irish Independent

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