Childcare providers from Donegal will attend a special pre-budget briefing event in Dublin next week to call for greater investment in early years in Budget 2020.
Hosted by Early Childhood Ireland, the event will see providers meet local representatives at Buswells Hotel, close to Leinster House.
It is understood that TDs and Senators from the Donegal constituency are expected to attend the event.
Early Childhood Ireland is calling on the government to prioritise the establishment of a dedicated early years agency in Budget 2020.
Childcare providers representing its 108 members from across Co. Donegal will join fellow members from elsewhere in Ireland at the pre-Budget event, where they will share their experiences of delivering quality services for babies and children and call for greater funding and supports in the forthcoming Budget, including the establishment of this important agency.
Speaking ahead of the event, Frances Byrne, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Early Childhood Ireland, said: ‘We are very proud to welcome our Donegal members to Dublin for this important pre-Budget briefing.
“This is a vital opportunity for TDs and Senators from across Co. Donegal to hear directly from our members about their experiences in delivering quality early years supports to local families and communities.’
She continued: ‘Ireland has, unfortunately, a long history of underinvestment in children’s earliest experiences.
“We currently invest the lowest amount per capita of any EU country in early years, meaning our members face significant ongoing challenges in providing sustainable services for children and families,” she added.
“At today’s event, local representatives from Donegal will have a unique opportunity to hear from our members on what is needed to ensure our youngest citizens, and the people supporting and nurturing them every day, can thrive,”
Ms. Byrne concluded: ‘The establishment of a single overseeing and funding agency, and greater investment in early years and in the dedicated staff of the sector, is imperative if we are to ensure universal quality experiences for children, sustainability for providers, and affordability for parents.’