[Sinn Fein]

13th March 2002

Justice Minister urged to save local childcare training course facing the axe

Sinn Fein South Dublin County Councillor Seán Crowe has called on the Government to answer this week's [Monday's] cross-party call by South Dublin County Council for extra funding for a popular local childcare training course in Tallaght that faces closure.

Cllr Crowe said:

"The An Cosán training course is very popular and has been a great success to date. Two hundred people turned up for interviews and the 36 women currently completing the programme have shown great enthusiasm and commitment. Unfortunately, the funding allocated for the course is inadequate and it is facing closure.

"Such courses are vital given the growing recognition of the importance of childcare in breaking the cycle of poverty and allowing people access to employment and education. There is a shortage of trained childcare staff and these courses are helping to fill that gap at a local level.

"The Department of Justice, Family and Law Reform is responsible for developing childcare service provision. Minister John O'Donoghue has already conceded that the South Dublin County Childcare Committee does not have the funds to keep this valuable course going. Sinn Fein believes the minister should show imagination and common sense by intervening directly to ensure that his department comes up with the necessary finance." ENDS

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