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Offaly County Childcare Committee is located at St Joseph's Community Centre in Kilcormac, Co Offaly.

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Minister Roderic O’ Gorman and Minister Anne Rabbitte welcome Government approval of the Disability Action Plan 2024 – 2026

From Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth 

Published on 26 July 2023

Last updated on 25 July 2023

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, and Minister of State for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte, today welcomed Government approval of the Disability Action Plan 2024-2026.

The Action Plan represents a key step in the expansion and reform of specialist community-based disability services including day services, respite and residential services, personal assistance and home support, as well as multidisciplinary therapy interventions for children and adults. These services form core supports in the Government’s ambition to help people with disabilities live ordinary lives in ordinary places, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

The Action Plan has been developed on foot of the Disability Capacity Review to 2032 – A Review of Social Care Demand and Capacity Requirements to 2032. This review set out the extra capacity requirements for community disability services up to 2032, based on an analysis of demographic trends and unmet need. Following its publication, Government committed to working towards implementing its recommendations.

The Disability Action Plan 2024 – 2026 represents the first phase in this process of implementation. Its main focus is on service expansion for disability services and the key priorities in this regard are:

  • Increasing capacity of Children’s Disability Network Teams, in conjunction with the upcoming Roadmap for Service Improvement 2023 – 2025 in Children’s Disability Services
  • Increased personal assistance and home support hours
  • Efforts to accelerate the decongregation programme
  • Increasing capacity for planned residential placements
  • Expansion of respite provision

The Plan also seeks to refresh and reinvigorate the Transforming Lives reform agenda through a suite of actions that seek to maximise service impact through strategic change and also to improve planning and management capacity through better information and systems. Key enablers such as workforce, also a primary consideration in the Roadmap for Service Improvement 2023-2025 for Children’s Disability Services, and the development of alternative models of providing services will be explored in order to drive better service delivery. Close partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in exploring alternative models of residential services, as well as delivering additional places, will also be an important aspect of the plan.

The Action Plan is now being prepared for publication, including in accessible formats, and will be available in early autumn.

Roderic OGormanMinister Roderic O’Gorman said:

“I am very proud to have secured Government approval for the Disability Action Plan 2024-2026. Earlier this year, the responsibility for specialist disability services transferred to my Department and it has been a priority for me that a tangible difference for people with disabilities would follow. This Action Plan is not only a valuable vehicle to begin addressing the deficits identified in the Disability Capacity Review but will also allow us to look at how we develop policy and deliver services more broadly. I look forward to launching the Plan in the autumn.”

Minister RabbitteMinister of State for Disabilities Anne Rabbitte said:

“I know from my conversations with people that there is an urgent need to provide more and better services to meet the demand that exists in the system. The Disability Action Plan 2024-2026 sets out how we are going to do that. I am particularly pleased that this plan will provide a template for the expansion of children’s services, which is such a critical area. This Plan, along with the Roadmap for children’s services, gives us a touchstone and I hope we will now see real improvements in this area.” 


The Disability Capacity Review to 2032 – A Review of Social Care Demand and Capacity Requirements to 2032 was published by the Government in July 2021, along with a Framework Action Plan, setting out key areas for attention.

The detailed action plan was then developed in late 2021 and early 2022 by an interdepartmental Working Group with officials from Department of Health, Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Department of Social Protection, Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and the Health Service Executive.

Their work was informed by an extensive public consultation, in which around 800 people participated. Further information on the consultation and its results can be found here.

Ministers O’Gorman and Humphreys launch Irish Language Story Book Videos as part of My Little Library Initiative 2023

Minister Roderic O’Gorman and Minister Heather Humphreys launch Irish Language Story Book Videos as part of My Little Library Initiative 2023.


My Little Library Minister OGorman 2


Read full press release here;


Físeáin Leabhair Scéalta Gaeilge á seoladh mar chuid de Thionscnamh Mo Leabharlann Bheag 2023:

Tá 6 fhíseán ann, léiríonn gach ceann acu leabhar scéalta ardchaighdeáin do pháistí a roghnaíodh as na cinn atá sna málaí leabhar Gaeilge Mo Leabharlann Bheag i mbliana.

Tá na málaí seo saor in aisce do gach páiste atá ag tosú ar scoil i mí Mheán Fómhair óna leabharlann áitiúil.

Tá sé mar aidhm ag an acmhainn seo tacú le tuismitheoirí agus iad a spreagadh chun málaí leabhar Gaeilge a roghnú agus na leabhair a léamh lena bpáistí.

Is féidir teacht ar acmhainní físe Léamh Le Chéile anseo:


My Little Library Book Bag Irish


  • The Léamh Le Chéile video resources can be accessed here.
  • Further Information on My Little Library Initiative can be found here.

Minister O’Gorman confirms introduction of new employment rights for parents

Minister O’Gorman confirms introduction of new employment rights for parentsDCEDIY new employment rights 26 06 2023
From Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Minister Roderic O’Gorman has today (26th of June) announced the commencement date for new employment entitlements brought in as part of the recently passed Work Life Balance Act 2023.

As part of the legislation, the entitlement to breastfeeding breaks will be extended from the current period of six months – a time which coincides with maternity leave – up to two years.

In addition to this, parents and carers will be entitled to a new right to unpaid leave for medical purposes.

The Minister confirmed today these provision will come into effect from 3rd July 2023.

Speaking about the commencement, Minister O’Gorman said:

“The Work Life Balance Act is about helping make sure that our work lives reflect the reality of our personal lives, particularly for parents and carers.

“By extending breastfeeding breaks to two years after the birth of the child, we can support women returning to work after maternity leave to continue to breastfeed, in line with best practices from a public health perspective. Normalising breastfeeding in the workplace is of benefit to mothers, babies and wider society.’

The Minister went on to say:

“The new right to leave for medical care purposes will give parents and carers access to a flexible short-term form of unpaid leave, providing certainty at difficult moments, should they need it.”

Notes for the editor:
Part 1, Part 2, other than sections 7, 8, 12 (a), 13 and 14; and Sections 32 to 39 of the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 will be commenced on 3rd July 2023.

This includes the introduction of leave for medical care purposes and amendments to the Maternity Protection Acts to provide for the extension of breastfeeding breaks. An order amending regulations relating to breastfeeding breaks made under the Maternity Protection Acts will also be made.

It is planned to commence the legislative provisions introducing domestic violence leave in the autumn.

The right to request flexible working for parents and carers will be commenced following the preparation of a Code of Practice by the WRC under Part 4.

Commencement of Part 3 and Part 4 are for the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Supporting Quality Childcare in Offaly

Offaly County Childcare Committee support the development of quality, affordable, inclusive, accessible childcare and family friendly services for all children in every part of the county.

Offaly County Childcare Committee has been meeting since May 2001 and is made up of representatives from the statutory sector, social partners, community groups, voluntary groups, the Community and Voluntary Forum, National Voluntary Children's Organisations, providers of childcare, and parents - all of whom have a vested interest in childcare provision in the county.

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