The Education Minister, John O’Dowd recently announced a £2m cut to the funding to Early Years in Northern Ireland.
These cuts could have a far reaching and damaging effect on playgroups and pre-schools throughout the province.
Current figures show that the funding cut could lead to:
- A loss of £1.71 million to the voluntary and community early childhood sector
- A loss of local services in 153 communities in the most disadvantaged parts of Northern Ireland
- A loss of 177 jobs (mainly women)
- A loss of 2,500 early childhood places directly benefitting from the fund, including such places for our most vulnerable children as:
- – Over 620 places for children with special needs
- – Over 250 places for children who do not have English as their first language
- A loss of support for an estimated 1,800 single parent families
A petition has been set up in a bid to get the Education Minister to rescind these cuts and it can be accessed here: Early Years Petition