Outcome of Debate (06/12/2010)
The Committee’s motion calling “on the Minister of Education to develop a cross-departmental and holistic Early Years Children’s Strategy and Action Plan which will fully integrate provision for the social, care and educational needs of young children from pre-birth to age six” was debated in the Assembly on 6 December 2010 and was resolved (approved by the Assembly).
During the debate the Minister of Education indicated that she had written to the Minister of Health and the OFMDFM Junior Ministers requesting meetings to seek their views on a more broadly based cross-departmental strategy and action plan for Early Years provision.
The Minister also extended the consultation on the draft Early Years (0-6) Strategy to 31 January 2011 – something which the Committee had requested she do.
The Minister also said that she believed ‘that there is merit in considering other, less formal, more flexible approaches to the school starting age’.
The Committee has now asked the Department of Education for copies of the correspondence to the Minister of Health and the OFMDFM Junior Ministers and has asked for more information on the Minister’s remark on a ‘less formal, more flexible approaches to the school starting age.’