Advice Paper on School-Aged Childcare for Children with Disabilities
In late 2019 the Department of Children and Youth Affairs commenced the statutory School Aged Childcare scheme whereby children of eligible families are supported with the cost of childcare for their school aged children.
In early 2021 the National Disability Authority (NDA) submitted a policy discussion paper to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth on the issues related to providing support to school aged childcare settings. This would enable them to provide support for children with disabilities who may require support to participate in school aged childcare.
While the policy discussion paper notes that there is currently no system of support available to support a child with a disability accessing state-funded school-aged childcare, the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) (a programme of universal and targeted support for children with disabilities in ECCE) and other policy frameworks mean that there is a foundation in place that could be built upon to develop such a system of supports.
The policy discussion paper argued that it was very important that the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth seek the views of children with disabilities to design a system of support for children who will require some support to participate in school-aged childcare programmes.