Sunday 30 April 2017

Pre-school and paternity leave on track

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The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has insisted that plans to introduce a second pre-school year in September remain on track - despite the ongoing political impasse.

Coalition figures had raised doubts over a series of measures agreed in the last Budget because there is no government in place to ensure enabling legislation.

It has already emerged that plans for two weeks of paid paternity leave for fathers from September face delays because the Government now only has a caretaker role.

But a spokesman for the outgoing Children's Minister James Reilly has said work is ongoing to deliver a second free pre-school year and that suggestions that the governmental impasse will impact on this are incorrect.

"Budget 2016 provided that from September of 2016 the Early Childhood Care and Education will be expanded to ensure that children who reach the age of three can benefit from the scheme and avail of it till they start in primary education," a spokesman said.

The spokesman added that no new legislation was required to allow for the expansion of the scheme.

Irish Independent

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