Ruane welcomes extra pre-school money

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Thursday, April 26th, 2012
Community, News
Sinn Féin MLA Caitriona Ruane has welcomed the Education Ministers announcement that an extra £6 million will be spent on pre-school education over the next three years. Speaking to Newry Times, the South Down MLA welcomed the announcement and said, “At present over 94% of children have already been placed this year and while there are places for every child I understand some of the concerns that have been raised by parents who may have to travel long distances to access a place. This extra funding will go some way in alleviating the problems of getting a place for children that is within a reasonable traveling time from home. This is particularly relevant in a rural constituency like South Down where the nearest schools can be some distance away from many homes so it is important that pre school places are matched with demand to lessen travel times.” “Sinn Féin has always stated that there should be a place for every child wanting to avail of pre-school education and Minister John O’Dowd has shown his commitment to this by announcing this funding,” continued Ruane. “In addition, the Minister has announced his intention to extend Sure Start coverage to the 25 percent most disadvantaged areas which will make this support available to many more families.” “I also welcome the fact that the Minister is also to remove the July / August birthdays as a priority criterion in the pre-school admissions process as soon as possible. This will bring equality into the process and allow all children to get a place as close to home as possible,” Ruane added.
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