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No child’s access to early years supports, health-care or education should be determined by how much money their parents have or where they live.
We’re looking to gather stories and experiences of children trying to access public health services in Ireland. Stories submitted will be shared publicly and anonymously as part of a campaign later this year calling for solutions to the waiting list crisis. Would you like to share your child’s story?
Thousands of children in Ireland are forced to endure lengthy waits for essential health services. Childhood is a time of rapid development, timely assessments and treatments are crucial to a child’s development. Unfortunately, too many children’s health, wellbeing and overall development is being compromised because of our insufficient and at times non-responsive public health system. There are stark inequities in our public health system that must be addressed.
Barnardos regularly monitors waiting list data and the impact of lengthy waits on children and families, particularly in the areas of Speech and Language and Mental Health services.
The first few years of a child’s life are the most critical in terms of development and learning. The experiences children have during this time lay the foundation for the rest of their childhood and for the adults they will become. Supporting parents in their role is crucial to improving outcomes for children, central to this is encouraging and facilitating a nurturing relationship between parent and infant.
Quality care and education helps even the youngest children develop important life skills such as communication, social skills, how to maintain friendships and how to navigate rules and boundaries. Ensuring universal access to affordable and quality early childcare and education would give all children the best possible start in life.