26th August 2019
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, welcomed the announcement today that the Association of Childhood Professionals (ACP), SIPTU, and PLÉ (the Irish Association of Academics in Early Childhood Education and Care in Higher Education) have formed a working group to explore the establishment of a professional body. Responding to the initiative, the Minister stressed its potential importance in supporting improvement in the quality of provision and providing a voice for the profession.
The Minister noted that, as part of First 5, a major programme of reform for the profession is currently being planned through the Workforce Development Plan, work on which began recently. The Workforce Development Plan will chart a route to professionalisation of the workforce in early learning and care and school-age childcare over the decade ahead, including achieving a graduate-led workforce by 2028 and raising the profile of careers in the profession.
The Minister stated that: “Children must be at the heart of all we do, and those who work with children are key to ensuring good outcomes for children. Their work is hugely important and they must be valued for the contribution they make. The development of a professional body would be a key step on the road towards professionalisation, and I wish those taking part on this initiative success in their efforts.”