Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
In Ireland, recent legislation and policy in health, education and social services have changed the nature and practice of early childhood education care and services

In Ireland, recent legislation and policy in health, education and social services have changed the nature and practice of early childhood education care and services

Ratings: (0)|Views: 7|Likes:
The ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992 stimulated a change in thinking towards the rights and well-being of children in Ireland. This article examines the strides that have been made in the areas of social services, health and education; and addresses short-comings in the implementation of recent policy recommendations in this area.
The ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992 stimulated a change in thinking towards the rights and well-being of children in Ireland. This article examines the strides that have been made in the areas of social services, health and education; and addresses short-comings in the implementation of recent policy recommendations in this area.

More info:

Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Sep 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
See more
See less

12/09/2013

 
1
In Ireland, recent legislation and policy in health, education andsocial services have changed the nature and practice of earlychildhood education care and services
Introduction:
Children represent nearly one third of the population of Ireland (Hayes, 2002), and as suchrepresent the future of Ireland and have a central place in our ever changing society as presentand future citizens. Numerous significant policy documents and decisions have beendeveloped in recent years in relation to the practice of early childhood education, markingwhat might be considered a change in attitude towards children in our society. This wealth of documents has endeavoured to provide Ireland with the highest quality of services and carefor our children.The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international human rightstreaty which grants a comprehensive set of rights to all children without discrimination, andthis has had an important role in stimulating progress in this area within Ireland. In this essayI will argue that the adoption of the principles of the UNCRC has had a positive impact onthis country in relation to the nature and practice of early childhood care and services. Iintend to chose an area from social services, education and health (in that order) and discussthese in relation to developments in Irish policy and legislation and the effects of thesepolicies on early childhood care and services.
With regard to children‟s rights, historically
Ireland has an ethos of expecting children to beseen and not heard. Many believe this stigma is changing due to the increased awareness andacknowledgement of 
children‟s rights
. The UNCRC (1989) includes the participation rightsof children (Article 12). This involves children having freedom of expression and the right tohave a say in matters that affect their lives. Conversely authors such as Hayes (2002) andMartin (2000) believe children in Ireland are not given sufficient opportunity to speak forthemselves and are voiceless in society. I will address this issue and examine the ways andmeans by which children are empowered and given a voice in society with relation to therelevant legislation and policies.Under the development rights of children, article 28 of the UNCRC (1989) states that everychild has the right to education. Since 1990 and particularly since the millennium, the Irish
 
2
government has endeavoured to improve early childhood services especially in education andthese key milestones will be examined and how these have effected and changed practicewithin Ireland.A health survey carried out by the World Health Organisation in 2008 saw children in Irelandscore very highly (Irish Examiner, 2008). An increased awareness of health inequalities haslead to policies being put in place in relation to
children‟s health
. I am keen to explore thesepolicies, focusing on traveller children and breastfeeding and their affects on services.According to the UNCRC (1989), every child has the right to avail of health and medicalservices and to enjoy the highest quality of health that is attainable (Article 24).
Discussion:
Social Services: Children’s Rights
 
In recent years policy makers are recognising the importance of giving children their ownvoice. They are including children
‟s opinions
in research and on topics relevant to them. Thebenefit of including children in policy making was clearly seen in the National Children
‟s
Strategy (2000). Children and young people were consulted in the formation of thisgovernment policy, the publication of which is a huge step towards the implementation of theUNCRC recommendations. This document provides a clear policy statement which reflectsthe hopes and concerns of children themselves and all parties involved in working withchildren (DOHC, 2000).
In this strategy three national goals were identified: children will have a voice, children‟s
lives will be better understood and children will receive quality supports and services(Richardson, 2005). The first national goal concerns giving children a voice in matters thataffect their lives. Their opinions are to be given due weight in accordance with their age. Oneway in which the strategy hoped to achieve this was by putting in place new procedures in thepublic sector to boost participation by children in matters that affect them, and to promoteand support the development of a similar system in the private and voluntary sector. As aresult of the strategy many significant developments were made; such as the establishment of a National Childr
en‟s Advis
ory Council,
together with the National Children‟s Office in 200
2
(Richardson, 2005). Dáil na nŌg, the national children‟s parliament
, was set up givingchildren the opportunity to raise and debate issues of concern. The first meeting of Dáil na
g took place in 2001, and 200 children aged between eight and seventeen years attended,
 
3
representing every county and socio-economic group (Office for the Minister for Childrenand Youth Affairs, 2002).A further measure
of the strategy was that a children‟s ombu
dsman be established bylegislation as an independent office. The Ombudsman for the Children Act (2002) states thatthe role will be an independent office (DOHC, 2002). Again children were consulted on theirviews as to what should be the priorities of the
Irish Children‟s
Ombudsman during the first12 to 18 months of office. This is a prime example of when children were listened to andtheir opinions considered and valued (
Children‟s Rights Alliance, 2003
). Anotherrecommendation of the strategy was tha
t children‟s views should be represented at a national
and local level in relation to relevant services. A 2002 progress report indicated that manycity and county development boards had established mechanisms to give children a voice,therefore improving
children‟s participation at a local level.
 
 Education
The 1990s was a period of intense debate, examination and policy development in Irisheducation (Clancy, 2005). According to Clancy (2005) initially the main focus of thiseducational reform was focused at primary, secondary and third level. By comparison pre-school education received little attention until the late 1990s. The Report on the NationalForum for Early Childhood Education was published in 1998. It explores some of the mainareas involved in Early Childhood Education and Care, and proposes some areas in whichintervention is needed. This was the beginning of a rapid growth of policies and legislationfocusing on early years
care and education. Following the Forum, the Department of Education and Science produced the White Paper on Early Childhood Education entitled
Ready to Learn
(1999). This paper is concerned with children from birth to six years. It setsout the core objective of early childhood
education as “supporting the development and
educational achievement of children through high quality early education, with particularfocus on the target groups
of the disadvantaged and those with special needs”
(Department of Education and Science, 1999, pp. 14). The Centre for Early Childhood Development andEducation (CECDE) was established in 2002 on the recommendation of the White Paper(Citizens Information, 2009). The purpose of the CECDE was to begin implementing some of the key recommendations of the White Paper (Duignan, 2004). It published
Siolta: theNational Framework for Quality in Early Childhood Education
(2006), which has influencedthe practice in childcare settings across the country (Citizens Information, 2009).

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->