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National Children and Young People’s Policy Framework

The new Children and Young People’s Policy Framework will build on Our Children — Their Lives, the first National Children’s Strategy (published in 2000) and it will cover the period 2014-2018.  It will be a whole-of-Government approach to policies for children and young people.  The development of a new policy framework will also meet one of the key recommendations of the implementation plan for the Ryan Report.

The Policy Framework will comprehend the continuum from infancy through early and middle childhood to adolescence and early adulthood.  It will provide the overarching framework for the development and implementation of policy and services for children and young people.  The Framework will bring together key policies instanced in the Programme for Government including those relating to prevention and early intervention initiatives, early childhood education, breaking the cycle of disadvantage, through area based approaches to address child poverty, aftercare provision and addressing issues around anti-social behaviour.

The Policy Framework will provide a means for cross departmental collaboration to promote the well-being of children and young people and a fresh impetus to a whole-of-government approach to current and emerging issues, including childhood obesity, healthy lifestyles, the impact of media and new technologies, the sexualisation of children and promoting pro-social behaviour.  

Under the Policy Framework there will sit three separate but linked strategies concerning age cohorts such as Early Years and Youth.  The Policy Framework is expected to be published early this year.

Expert Advisory Group on Early Years Strategy

In 2012, Minister Fitzgerald appointed an Expert Advisory Group to advise on what should be included in the Early Years Strategy.  The Group comprised:  

Chair: Ellis Hennessy Department of Psychology, UCD

Members:
Catherine Byrne, Atlantic Philthropies,  
Fergus Finlay, Barnardos
Siobhan Feehan, HSE, Deansrath Family Centre
Irene Gunning, Early Childhood Ireland
Noirin Hayes, Dublin Institute of Technology
Fiona McDonnell, HSE Early Years Inspectorate
Roisin McGlone, Sligo Institute of Technology
Breda McKenna, Monaghan Child Care Committee
Patricia Murray, Childminding Ireland
Alf Nicholson, Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street
Gerry O’Connor, St Ultan’s, Cherry Orchard
Patricia O’Dwyer, Public Health Nursing Consultant
Biddy O’Neill, HSE, Health Promotion
Kathryn O’Riordan, Cork City Child Care Committee
Toby Wolfe, Start Strong
Thomas Walsh, Department of Education and Skills.

The Report of the Group, entitled ‘Right from the Start’, was launched by the Minister on Thursday 10 October 2013.

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