Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, to expand the new child poverty programme, which targets areas of deprivation. Minister Fitzgerald confirmed the move during a meeting of the Select Sub-Committee on Children and Youth Affairs.
“The new Area Based Response to Child Poverty Programme will build on the work already carried out by the Prevention and Early Intervention Programme, which has been in operation since 2007 in Tallaght, Ballymun and Darndale in Dublin. Thanks to extra funding of €2.5 million, the programme will now be extended to three more locations.
“It is well established that if we want to achieve the best possible outcomes for our children, early intervention is essential. This is true both in terms of early education for toddlers, and early help and support for children who may be growing up in areas of deprivation.
“The success of the three existing programmes in Dublin would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the local organisations who help to run the initiative. Indeed, Minister Fitzgerald has said when it comes to deciding on the next three locations, it is vital that there are already good community organisations in place, who can take up the reigns to deliver the new programme.
“A list of locations is currently being reviewed under the deprivation index. The aim of the programme is to achieve better outcomes for children, their families and their communities. It’s hoped that the establishment of the Child and Family Agency this year will allow for the mainstreaming of these programmes, which would be a positive and progressive step.
“The programme is being co-funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, which helped to fund the original programme, and as a result will have a total funding allocation of almost €30 million over the next three years.”