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

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United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child publishes its Concluding Observations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Ireland


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

Published on 9 February 2023

Last updated on 9 February 2023

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has published its Concluding Observations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Ireland, which is available to read here .

On 24 and 25 January 2023, Minister O’Gorman led a delegation of officials from relevant Government Departments for the hearing before the Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva. The Experts of the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed admiration for how Ireland had received children fleeing Ukraine.

The Committee’s Concluding Observations published today reflect the constructive dialogue which took place between the Committee and the Irish Delegation. In the Concluding Observations, the Committee recognises the positive steps taken by the State since Ireland’s last review in 2016. In particular, they welcome the progress made with the commencement of the Children First Act, Children and Family Relationships Act, the Irish Sign Language Act and the adoption of a number of other strategies.

Minister O’Gorman welcomes the Concluding Observations saying

“Ireland is a strong supporter of the UN Treaty Body system. We greatly value the role that Treaty Body Committees continue to play in highlighting human rights issues in Ireland and as essential monitors of States’ implementation of the core international human rights treaties thereby helping to generate change. I welcome these observations and I will be examining them in detail, along with colleagues right across Government, with a view to addressing them to the greatest possible extent in the forthcoming new National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2023-2028.”



Note for Editors:

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history with more countries having ratified the Convention than any other human rights treaty in history - 196 countries have become State Parties to the Convention as of December 2021.

• Ireland adopted the UNCRC in 1989 and ratified it in 1992.

• Ireland previously submitted reports in 1996, 2006 and 2013.

• In summer 2021, over 1,200 children and young people throughout Ireland took part in a consultation on their rights under the various UN Conventions which resulted in the “What WE Think” suite of reports which are available here.

• Ireland’s Fifth and Sixth State Report to the Committee was submitted on 15 February 2022.

• Ireland’s hearing before the CRC took place on the 24th and 25th January 2023.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention. All States Parties to the Convention are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how it is being implemented. Following the hearing, the Committee has made observations and recommendations to Ireland on the implementation of the Convention here.

Ireland’s delegation at the CRC Hearing was led by Minister Roderic O’Gorman and comprised senior officials from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Justice, Department of Social Protection, the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Attorney General’s Office.

Issued by the Press and Communications Office at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

Tel: +353 1 6473000es

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Benefits of Sensory Play from Naíonra Nóiníní Beaga

THANK YOU Naionra Ninin Beaga Benefits of Sensory Play

Eimear of Naíonra Nóiníní Beaga has kindly shared her parents leaflet on the Benefits of Sensory Play 😁


  • Brain Development
  • Cognition
  • Awareness
  • Adaptability
  • Comfort
  • Communication
  • Motor Skills
  • Creativity
  • Problem Solving
  • Social & Emotional Development
  • Ideas for Activities

There may be some activities of interest to parents for over the weekend 🙂

Leaflet can be downloaded HERE

Government approves proposals to strengthen enforcement powers of the Tusla Early Years Inspectorate and pave the way to regulate childminders

Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, has today secured Government approval to bring forward legislative amendments in relation to the enforcement powers of the Tusla Early YearsDCEDIY 31 01 2023 Inspectorate.

The proposals brought to Cabinet by the Minister seek to ensure that Tusla has the appropriate enforcement powers to address serious non-compliance with the Regulations by early learning and childcare services and that parents have access to information in relation to the quality of these services.

The proposals arise from a review of the enforcement powers of the regulator which was instigated in 2019 following an RTÉ Investigates Programme which made allegations of serious and significant breaches of regulations in three early learning and childcare services.

The review has been informed by a comprehensive public consultation, ongoing consultation with Tusla, and research in relation to regulatory oversight in other jurisdictions and in other sectors in Ireland. The report on the public consultation is being finalised at present and the Minister intends to publish the report in the coming months.

Measures being proposed include new powers to allow Tusla to immediately close unregistered early learning and childcare services, to temporarily suspend registered services where there are concerns about significant risk to children, to share information on enforcement action with parents, to place some additional enforcement measures on a legislative footing, and to introduce a “Fit Person” regulation.

Minister O’Gorman also received approval for proposals to change the legal status of childminders, which would make possible the future regulation of childminders and allow for access to the National Childcare Scheme to be opened in future to parents who use registered childminders, in line with the National Action Plan for Childminding 2021-2028. The National Action Plan for Childminding sets out an incremental and supportive pathway to regulation, subsidies and supports for childminders. An Inspection and Regulation Expert Advisory Group has been established to scope out the content of the childminding regulations. It is intended that the Minister will bring draft childminding-specific regulations to Government for consideration later this year with a view to bringing them into force at a later date.

Speaking today, Minister O’Gorman said:

“The safety and protection of children remains a priority of Government. Key to ensuring this is the enforcement of Regulations which have children at the heart of their implementation.

“I think it is important to emphasise that the intention of the proposals which I have brought to Government today is not to increase enforcement action but instead streamline it where appropriate and address some of the limitations of the current legislation, making the enforcement process more effective and so improving overall compliance with Regulations within the early learning and childcare sector.

“Amending the legislation to bring the policy proposals to fruition will also provide an opportunity to address the exemption from regulation for childminders which is currently included in the legislation. This will pave the way for the introduction of appropriate and proportionate childminder-specific regulations in the future. Future regulation and support of childminders will help to recognise the valuable role childminders play and the service they provide for children and families. Importantly, it will also pave the way to open up the National Childcare Scheme to childminders, extending subsidies under this Scheme to families who use childminders”

Read press release here

Minister O’Gorman announces Ireland’s participation in international survey of the early learning and care workforce, in partnership with the Central Statistics Office

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, has today announced Ireland’s participation in the OECD Starting Strong Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS Starting Strong), in partnership with the Central StatisticsDCEDIY survey 31 01 2023 Office (CSO).

TALIS Starting Strong is the first international survey of the early learning and care workforce. It provides early years educators and managers with an opportunity to share insights on their professional development; pedagogical beliefs and practices; and working conditions, as well as various other leadership, management and workplace issues.

The survey seeks to identify strengths of, and improvement opportunities for, early learning and care environments across different countries.

Ireland, along with 16 other countries, is taking part in the survey. The findings will help inform future policy development in Ireland, building on Nurturing Skills, the Workforce Plan for Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare 2022-2028.

The TALIS Starting Strong field trial will commence in February, with main fieldwork taking place in early 2024.

Commenting, Minister O’Gorman said:

“Nurturing Skills commits to Ireland’s participation in the next round of TALIS Starting Strong.

"I am delighted to announce the upcoming field trial for this survey and the appointment of the Central Statistics Office to the role of National Project Office.

"TALIS Starting Strong is the first survey of its kind in Ireland and will provide a solid evidence base to inform and monitor the ongoing implementation of Nurturing Skills.

"Participation and engagement by settings and staff is strongly encouraged."

Padraig Dalton, Director General, CSO said:

“As Ireland’s national statistical office, the CSO’s role is to support research and public policy by producing impartial and robust data reflecting Ireland’s economy, people and society. The CSO is delighted to take on the role of National Project Office for TALIS Starting Strong. This survey is in keeping with our mandate to co-ordinate with other public bodies to produce official statistics.”

Read Press Release HERE

Minister O’Gorman announces 25 projects to be funded under the 2023 Supporting Parents, Parent Peer Support Funding Call


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

Published on 20 January 2023

Last updated on 20 January 2023

• €50,000 will be made available to 25 projects.

• Pilot grants of €2,000 will be allocated to successful organisations to assist with a range of projects including; supporting parents of children with additional needs, parents from migrant backgrounds, parents of LGBTI+ young people, and parenting when separated.

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, today announced the 25 projects to receive funding under the 2023 Supporting Parents, Parent Peer Support Fund. Through this Fund, a total of €50,000 will be made available to support organisations across Ireland to develop inclusive and welcoming parent peer support initiatives for all parents.

Supporting Parents: A National Model of Parenting Support Services seeks to ensure that all parents are confident and capable in their parenting role, helping to achieve the best outcomes for children and families. This peer support fund is a step towards parents feeling confident and comfortable seeking support from their peers.

Research in Ireland has demonstrated that peer support is highly valued by parents, both for common ages and stages and for specific parenting challenges. Informal support networks are an important protective factor that can enhance parental wellbeing and act as a valuable source of information about other parenting support services. Parent peer support groups can promote healthy parenting skills, an increased sense of empowerment, and a feeling of belonging. Parenting support groups can also be particularly helpful for parents of those who are coping with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues and for parents of children with complex care needs.

Welcoming the latest announcement, Minister O’Gorman said:

Roderic OGormanEvery parent deserves to feel supported in their role as a parent. This initiative will allow these organisations to continue their important work, fostering these peer connections and support systems across Ireland.

This funding will provide practical support to services focused on providing high quality supports for parents. The variety of initiatives is a credit to the support services who are listening to and responding to the needs of parents in their local areas.

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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