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Government keeping close watch on pre-school provision

Friday, 2 February 2018

Pre-school provision in the Island is being closely monitored by DESC and DHSC officials, following the decision by the Children’s Centre to close its facilities for young children in March.

The Government is aware that many parents whose children attended the Children’s Centre are concerned about finding a place for their child in another suitable setting, at short notice

The Children’s Centre announced in January it will cease providing early years children’s services from 23 March 2018, in order to focus on core charitable activities.

To assist parents, the Department of Education, Sport and Culture is seeking to establish availability of places among private operators. A list of registered and inspected pre-school education providers can be viewed on the government website. A list of registered childminders is posted in the same area.

An initial assessment has established many providers have capacity for additional children in the 2-5 years pre-school age range, particularly in afternoon sessions. 

Minister for Education, Sport and Culture Graham Cregeen MHK, said:

‘We are aware of the anxiety felt by parents whose children will no longer be able to attend the Children’s Centre. The Department is monitoring the situation to confirm the number and spread of available places'. 

He added:

‘Attending pre-school helps prepare young children for primary school, and is a valuable experience for them. We are doing all we can to assist parents to find a place for their child’. 

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