The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, has

today announced the launch of a public consultation on a national plan for Irish language

provision in Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School-Age Childcare (SAC).


The consultation will seek views on how best the Government can support the provision of

Irish-medium ELC and SAC, and it will also explore what role the Irish language should play

in English-medium ELC and SAC services.

The consultation process, starting on 6 June and running until 12 July, will be an opportunity

for all parties involved and interested in the Irish language in ELC and SAC to voice their

opinions. Stakeholders will be able to participate in and give their feedback through an

online survey, through both online and in-person focus groups, and through a national

stakeholder event. The process will also include consultation with children.


The consultation process follows through on commitments in First 5: A Whole of

Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families and in the 5 Year Action

Plan for the Irish Language 2018 – 2022. First 5 includes commitments to introduce

measures to ensure that children in Gaeltacht areas have access to Irish-medium ELC and

SAC provision, and also to develop mechanisms to provide Irish-language supports to ELC

and SAC  provision where there are high proportions of children who are learning through

the medium of Irish. The 5-Year Action Plan for the Irish Language includes a commitment

to develop a comprehensive plan for the sector.


Speaking about the consultation, Minister O’Gorman said:

“It is important to ensure that strong supports are in place for Irish-language provision in

early childhood. Public consultation is central to the development of a plan that is robust and

effective, and that reflects the importance of our national language for young children and

for society in general. The views of all stakeholders are important and I would like to

encourage widespread participation from anyone interested in this significant issue.

“Early childhood is fundamental in providing solid foundations for our children. The

development of a comprehensive plan for Irish-language provision in ELC and SAC shows my

Department’s commitment to support the use of Irish in children’s early years in all areas of

the country.”

Feedback and insights from children and young people, parents, early years educators,

school-age childcare practitioners, ELC and SAC settings, Irish-language organisations, ELC

support organisations, and all other interested parties will play an important role in shaping

the development of a national plan for Irish language supports for ELC and SAC.

Make your voice heard by joining the public consultation

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