A TRAVELLING squad of childcare specialists needs to be funded by the State to improve standards in pre-schools, according to Early Childhood Ireland.
The mentors would have a background in working with children as well as knowing how a service should be run, according to Irene Gunning, head of Early Childhood Ireland.
"Mentoring is one of the most effective ways of improving the quality of practice in childcare services," she said at the launch of the pre-Budget submission by the representative body for pre-school and day centres.
The document also called for an inspection regime that is fit for purpose as some pre-schools have not been visited by an inspector for years.
The group claims that another 25 inspectors are needed.