Pioneering the Way Forward for Quality After-School Childcare

30 Oct 2008

FOR RELEASE

Dublin - 20 October 2008  

Pioneering the Way Forward for Quality After-School Childcare 

The first ever FETAC Level 5 Award in School Age Childcare was launched at a recent SACCI conference on Developing Quality in School Age Childcare in Ireland.

This is the first full training award in Ireland specifically for the school age childcare sector. The Award was developed in collaboration with partners from across the community, statutory and private sectors, known collectively as SACCI (School Age Childcare Collaborative Initiative). It was piloted and externally evaluated in four centers across the country and is now available for those wishing to undertake accredited training.

Speaking at the conference, Aidan Madden, representing the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Mr. Barry Andrews, T.D., and Moira O’Meara, head of the Childcare Directorate of the Office, said “It is truly impressive to see the outcome of the collaborative partnership which worked so effectively to create an award much needed in the sector.”

“The students graduating here today, the first to graduate from a fully-fledged course in School Age Childcare in our jurisdiction, are pioneers who are leading the way for what I hope will be large numbers of successful students in subsequent years,” he concluded.

Since its formation in 2004, SACCI has worked tirelessly for the provision of accredited training in the school age childcare sector, and has lobbied for a system of statutory regulation and oversight of the sector similar to that provided for preschool.

Speaking on behalf of the members of SACCI about the future of school age childcare, Anne Conroy, National Manager Barnardos Training and Resource Service said “In 2006 substantial work was done by the Minister and his office to revise the existing pre-school regulations. We hope that the Minister will introduce regulations which will set quality standards for school age childcare.”

“Currently many of the after school services available in Ireland have developed organically, often in disadvantaged areas to meet a local need. These are usually small groups who provide children and young people with a place to relax, do their homework and somewhere to meet in a constructive setting,” explained Ms Conroy.

“Developing national standards for the sector and regulating these services will result in the development of high quality services that ultimately benefit older children and young people who need support in their out-of-school time,” she concluded. 

The conference, organised by SACCI, brought together childcare professionals from all over Ireland to work towards developing quality in services for older children and young people.

ENDS

For more information contact:

Yolanda Kennedy    (01) 708 0443/ 086 386 0638

Irene Lawlor (01) 708 0423     086 398 0441

Notes to the Editor

 

Te School Age Childcare Collaborative Initiative (SACCI) group includes:

·        Barnardos

·        Border Counties Childcare Network

·        Crann Support Group (formerly representing Trim Initiative for Development and Enterprise [TIDE])

·        FAS Traineeship Support Unit

·        IPPA, the Early Childhood Organisation

·        Limerick City Childcare Committee

·        Monaghan County Childcare Committee

·        Monaghan Partnership

·        National Children’s Nurseries Association

The key focus of the group is to provide accessible, accredited training appropriate to the School Age Childcare sector by building on the combined expertise and knowledge of the partners involved in the project. Barnardos is the lead agency on the project.

 

Barnardos supports children whose well-being is under threat by working with them, their families and communities and by campaigning for the rights of children.  Barnardos was established in Ireland in 1962 and is Ireland’s leading children’s charity.

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