Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Budget 2014 continues to build on this Government’s commitment to supporting children
This Government’s commitment to supporting children and families has again been reinforced by measures included in Budget 2014. As part of its commitment to children and children’s rights the Government has allocated an additional €15 million to develop a range of important supports.
Greater awareness of child protection issues has led to an increase in the number of referrals to child protection and welfare services. In order to continue quality improvements and increase capacity an additional €6.7 million will be invested in reforming child protection services.
Standards and quality in pre-schools is of concern to all parents whose children use these services. Minister Fitzgerald has responded to these concerns and is investing €4.5 million in the Pre-School Quality Agenda. This funding will be used to recruit new inspectors, create a new mentoring service for pre-school services and improved training for staff already working in the sector.
Other measures that will benefit from this increased funding will include efforts to tackle child poverty, getting an additional €1.5 million, and greater funding for the National Children Detention Facility which has recently moved to the construction phase. These measures are in addition to the announcement of free GP Visit Cards to all children under five years of age.
Delivering important reforms and service developments have been a feature of this government’s policy since it took the initial step of creating a dedicated Government Department for Children and Youth Affairs. The announcements in Budget 2014 continue this theme and will ensure the continued improvement of services for children.