Education Minister in Cullyhanna to launch Early Years Strategy

June 29, 2010

Education Minister, Caitriona Ruane, was in Cullyhanna on Friday to launch the consultation on the draft Early Years (0-6) Strategy.

Speaking at the event, the Minister said: “The early years in a child’s life are the most important in shaping their future, unlocking their potential, identifying issues early enough so that we can intervene and giving them the opportunity to pursue any path in life they choose.

“These years are also essential in developing children’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual abilities.  There is much good work in early years education here in the north, but we need to build on that good provision, as well as try and look towards new measures to further enhance and improve children’s development.”


“The purpose of the draft Strategy is to set out a vision and plan for the development of Early Years services. It seeks to ensure better outcomes for children by setting out a framework to improve the provision and quality of services to the youngest children, their parents and families over the next five years,” the Minister continued.

“My Department is committed to ensuring children get the most out of their early years. In 2010/11 the Department is making a significant investment in early years provision, allocating around £80 million to a range of services, including Sure Start, funded pre-school provision in both the statutory and voluntary settings and support for intermediary bodies working in the early years sector, including the Early Years Organisation.

“The draft Strategy will reflect the drive for a common approach across all education bodies so that children and parents have access to the right provision at the right time. Every child should be given the chance to achieve and by unlocking their potential early, we can ensure they have the best possible start to life.”


The draft Strategy document is available from the Department of Education’s website at, together with a supporting Evidence Based Paper and consultation response document.

The Minister encouraged all with an interest in early years to consider the documents: “I would encourage all those with an interest in this area to respond to this consultation by 30 November 2010. This is our opportunity to shape early years services for the years to come, we must not miss it.”