Public consultation on the national plan for Irish language provision in early learning and care and school-age childcare

Jun 7, 2024

The Department of Children, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Youth intends to develop and publish a national plan in 2024 on Irish language provision in early learning and care and school-age childcare, and the public consultation is now live.

This national plan will be critical for the naíonraí and other care services for children that operate through Irish, both in the Gaeltacht and outside Gaeltacht areas.

Gaeloideachas’ vision is that a place in a local naíonra will be available for all children, and that they will be provided with high-quality early immersion education. Unfortunately, without formal recognition and support from the State, naíonraí are at risk of closure, especially outside Gaeltacht areas.

According to a report published by the Department of Children, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Youth in 2023, there were only 53 early years services outside the Gaeltacht that confirmed they operate entirely through Irish (in keeping with Gaeloideachas’ definition of what a naíonra is). By comparison, there are 153 gaelscoileanna outside the Gaeltacht.

Gaeloideachas wants everyone in our community to take part in this important consultation, so that the plan is as supportive and comprehensive as possible. Here are ways to help:

1. Send an email to fiosru@mic.ul.ie to express interest in the focus groups. The dates and venues are at the bottom of this page.

2. Come to a meeting with us. Gaeloideachas will be preparing a submission as part of the consultation, and we hope to include your suggestions in it.

  • There will be an in-person Tae & Plé in person for naíonraí in Buswells Hotel on June 26 at 17.00
  • There will be an online meeting for parents on June 27 at 19.00

To register for either, email katie@gaeloideachas.ie.

 3. Email your suggestions for the plan to qualitydevelopment@equality.gov.ie

4. Take the survey here. Please note that there are errors in the Irish version of the information page and the survey itself, this has been reported by Gaeloideachas to the Department of Children, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Youth. Here are Gaeloideachas’ responses to the survey questions, and the reasoning behind them.

The consultation period closes at 17.00 on 12 July 2024.

As background information, you can read Gaeloideachas’ submission to the Committee on the Irish Language, Gaeltacht and the Irish-speaking Community on the crisis in naíonraí outside Gaeltacht areas here.

Gaeloideachas’ three major asks of the new national plan are:

  • We need a scheme to formally recognise naíonraí providing early immersion education, alongside a quality assurance scheme that provides appropriate supports for the naíonraí and the children in their care.
  • We need a subsidy scheme for naíonraí to ensure that they will be viable and that they will be able to provide high quality early immersion education to the children in their care
  • We need strategic investment in Irish-medium early years to help recruit, build capacity and retain naíonra teachers and provide quality early immersion education for young children

Ní neart go cur le chéile, so please take the time to add your voice to support naíonraí in these consultations.

Fócasghrúpaí i bpearsan | In-person focus groups

Dáta

Am

Áit

Grúpa duine

Meán

11/06

6i.n.

Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, Co. Chiarraí

Gach duine

Gaeilge

(with option for English contributions following)

12/06

6i.n.

Coláiste Mhuire gan Smál, Luimneach

Gach duine

Gaeilge

12/06

7i.n.

Coláiste Mhuire gan Smál, Luimneach

Gach duine

Everyone

English

18/06

6i.n.

An Roinn Leanaí, Comhionannais, Míchumais, Lánpháirtíochta agus Óige (CEDIY)

Gach duine

Gaeilge

18/06

7i.n.

An Roinn Leanaí, Comhionannais, Míchumais, Lánpháirtíochta agus Óige (CEDIY)

Gach duine

Everyone

English

25/06

6i.n.

Gaillimh

Gach duine

Everyone

English

25/06

7i.n.

Gaillimh

Gach duine

Gaeilge

 

Fócasghrúpaí ar líne | Online focus groups

Dáta

Am

Grúpa duine

Meán

13/06

6i.n.

Cleachtóirí agus daoine ghairmiúla

Practitioners and professionals

Gaeilge

14/06

1i.n.

Gach duine

Gaeilge

14/06

1i.n.

Gach duine

Everyone

English

14/06

6i.n.

Cleachtóirí agus daoine ghairmiúla

Practitioners and professionals

English

17/06

6i.n.

Fócas ar leith ar shuíomhanna lán-Ghaeilge

Gaeilge

17/06

6i.n.

Fócas ar leith ar shuíomhanna lán-Ghaeilge

English

20/06

6i.n.

Fócas ar thuismitheoirí (trí Ghaeilge)

Gaeilge

20/06

6i.n.

Fócas ar thuismitheoirí (as Béarla)

Focus on parents (in English)

English

20/06

7i.n.

Mic léinn de Luath-Óige agus Cúram Leanaí

Current or recent students of Early Learning, Childcare

English

20/06

7i.n.

Mic léinn de Luath-Óige agus Cúram Leanaí

Gaeilge

24/06

6i.n.

Geallsealbhóirí: Fócas ar leith ar shuíomhanna luath-óige agus chúram leanaí do pháistí ar aois scoile a ghníomhaíonn trí mheán an Bhéarla

Gaeilge

24/06

6i.n.

Geallsealbhóirí: Fócas ar leith ar shuíomhanna luath-óige agus chúram leanaí do pháistí ar aois scoile a ghníomhaíonn trí mheán an Bhéarla

All stakeholders: Particular Focus on Irish in English medium and School aged Childcare settings

English

25/06

6i.n.

Fócas ar chúram leanaí do pháistí ar aois scoile

Gaeilge

25/06

6i.n.

Fócas ar chúram leanaí do pháistí ar aois scoile

Focus on school -aged childcare (school-aged children)

English