I raised the issue on Thursday in the Senate of the need for the Minister for Education and Science to expand educational development to increase the numbers of non-denominational schools in Ireland, thus avoiding the reinforcing of sectarian divides by separating children according to denomination during their core school hours.
Archive for the ‘Childcare’ Category
On Tuesday, I debated the issue of foreign adoptions. This processis a slow and bureaucratic one, and causes extreme pain, difficulties and sadness to a large number of families in
It is remarkable that the Seanad is talking itself into a situation where it never debates anything relevant. Time is not allocated to topical items, and we seem to debate subjects that are at times utterly irrelevant. It is not that we do not have major issues to discuss which demand time – the Broadband Bill; legislation to regulate the scoundrels in the auctioneering industry; the issue of autism. This is what I told the House during the Order of Business:
Yesterday in the Seanad chamber, I raised the High Court’s decision in the Ó Cuanacháin case. I have met Ms. Ó Cuanacháin, and was most impressed by what she had to say. I argued that if the House was to remain relevant, it should be debating this case, given its immediacy. I proposed an amendment to the Order of Business to do exactly this:
This week I have once again submitted a pre-budget submission to Minister for Finance Brian Cowen. I will continue to put pressure on the government to address the problem of childcare and to put in place a strategy for solving the problem and give parents more choice and a better standard of living.
You can now download my pre-Budget submission on the subject of Childcare to Minister for Finance Brian Cowen by clicking here: childcare-and-the-budget.pdf
As Budget 2005 approaches, I am calling for greater resources for childcare, to give parents real choices about whether to rejoin the workforce or to care for their children themselves. I secured a Seanad debate on childcare on Wedndesday 26 October. The debate was responded to by Michael McDowell, the Minister for Justice.
While the Seanad has already debated problems with creche facilities and the cost of childcare, I wanted also to emphasise the value of parents who give up work or work part-time in order to take care of their children. It’s clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to childcare. (more…)
Professor John FitzGerald yesterday made an interesting contribution to a SIPTU conference in Cork. He said that while affordable child care is already a big problem, it will get much worse. Among the reasons he cited for this are that many more women than men are progressing to third level education and employers will find that women account for a significantly larger share of the supply of skilled labour than men. Employers will have to attract and hold skilled women and men, many of whom have young children. Meanwhile, the supply of child care will likely decrease. (more…)
Today I have put down the following motion for debate in the Seanad:
That Seanad Eireann, mindful of Ireland’s unprecedented national wealth, urges the Minister for Finance to give far greater resources in the next Budget to childcare and the difficulties encountered by parents of children attending crèches, primary or secondary schools. (more…)
lmost a year has assed since I initiated a debate on Autism. This week in the Seanad I pressed for more funding to be made available:
“The issue [of autism] has arisen in this House more than in the other, and there is all-party support in the area. We could continue that debate and squeeze some money out of the Minister.
“We should get a commitment from the Minister for an extra grant for autism. We might achieve something by doing that in this House… All sides appear to agree on the issue and it could be taken seriously here.”