Assembly Education Committee Hosts Event To Scrutinise Early Years Proposals

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 17 November 2010

Reference: EDU 03/10/11

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education is to host a major event in Parliament Buildings today. The event is designed to give stakeholders and parents the chance to voice their concerns directly to Department of Education officials on the Department’s Draft Early Years (0-6) Strategy.

Speaking before the event Committee Chairperson, Mervyn Storey MLA, said: “When the Department published the Draft Early Years Strategy, both the Committee and key stakeholders raised major concerns about it. The Committee felt that this event would give parents and stakeholder representatives a platform to have their say and get clarity on the Draft Strategy directly from the Department.”

The Department of Education will present its Draft Strategy and respond to issues raised by a specialist panel of stakeholders. Invited guests will also have the opportunity to comment and ask specific questions about the impact of the Strategy.

Mr Storey MLA added: “It is hoped the event will clarify what the proposed Strategy will actually mean for children, parents, and providers of early years education and care. The importance of early years in a child’s development is not disputed. It is important to make sure that the Draft Strategy addresses the key issues and clearly sets out its objectives and how they will be achieved.”

The Committee has already talked to a number of stakeholders prior to today and taken evidence on a wide range of issues surrounding the Department’s Draft Strategy. Parents and stakeholders are reminded that the Department’s consultation period has not yet finished and that submissions can be made to the Department up to the deadline of 30 November 2010 – if they have not already done so.

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