Minister O’ Gorman Announces Progress in First 5 Strategy for Children’s Services and Support

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth, Roderic O’ Gorman, has published the First 5 Annual Implementation Report 2023, showcasing notable achievements in improving services and supports for young children and their families.

Key Highlights from 2023:

  • Extended Parental Leave: Additional funding in Budget 2024 allows for two more weeks of Parent’s Leave and Benefit, totaling nine weeks from August 2024.
  • Flexible Work Rights: The new Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act grants parents and carers the right to request flexible working and extends breastfeeding breaks for working mothers to two years.
  • Parenting Support: Launch of the National Model of Parenting Support Services, including a dedicated online information hub and funding for parent support projects.
  • Child Health Initiatives: A dedicated child health workforce is being established, and new guidelines on healthy eating for children and a postnatal care program have been introduced.
  • Early Learning and Care Improvements: Increased funding for childcare, introduction of new support measures for disadvantaged children, and a review of the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme.

Minister O’ Gorman praised the collaborative efforts across government and expressed confidence in achieving the strategy’s goals by 2028.

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