It's hard to believe that we are approaching the end of 2019. The year seems to fly by so quickly (or maybe that's just my age!). As we look back over the last few months, the main topic for childminders has been the publication of the Draft Childminding Action Plan by DCYA on the 29th August. This document has been the source of much debate and discussion ever since.
It is very clear that the sector will change and most childminders recognise the need for some change. With the roll-out of the National Childcare Scheme, parents will expect to be able to access the supports proposed. In turn, there has to be accountability for those who deliver the scheme. The draft document attempts to address this situation. The phased strategy over a ten year period is welcome. Unfortunately, the persistent linking of reform with centre-based care is not helpful. The current inspection process is not suitable for home based childcare. The rushed attempt at consultation with our sector is frustrating.
All childminders need to get involved now by lobbying local politicians, explaining why the Draft Plan is so unsuitable for childminders. This process cannot happen without our involvement. We cannot sit idly by and do nothing. It's our future, we need to have our say and be heard by everyone. "Childminding is different" and we need to stand up and be counted to continue to provide "Home from Home" care to Ireland's children.
On behalf of the Board and myself, I wish you and your families a very Happy and peaceful Christmas.