Jennifer Whitmore TD

A DEIS-Plus model of funding for the early years sector is essential if we want to break the cycle of child poverty, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on children, said:

“In the Social Democrats’ alternative budget, the creation of a new DEIS-Plus categorisation at preschool, primary and secondary school level is a key element of our proposals to end the scandal of child poverty in Ireland. This would involve the allocation of €20 million in initial funding in 2024 for the most disadvantaged schools.

“I strongly believe that DEIS-style programmes should include the early years sector. This is borne out by a literature review of research and international evidence on equality of participation and access models within early learning and care, published this week by the Children’s Rights Alliance.

“Based on evidence from projects and programmes across five countries, the review found that investing in early years is one of the most effective methods of tackling child poverty.

“Next week’s Budget must allocate funding for the first phase of a new early years DEIS model, one that is focused on wraparound services, the provision of food and support for parents.

“Child poverty is corrosive and can have lifelong consequences for those who experience it and for wider society. However, with early intervention measures, such as my party’s DEIS-Plus proposal, this societal scandal is preventable.”

October 6, 2023

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