Working on behalf of children with special needs Mary called on the Minister for Children to abandon the Governments proposal to do away with the Overage Age Exemption from the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme from September 2018.
Mary said the proposal to remove the Overage Age Exemption from the ECCE scheme would severely disadvantage children with special needs from being adequately prepared to enter the mainstream school system.
The Over Age Exemption was introduced to allow children with special needs attend an ECCE place for longer before entering mainstream primary school, thereby giving them more time to prepare for the change.
Children with different levels of special needs sometimes need a bit of extra time before commencing mainstream primary school. Mary called on the Minister to abandon the Governments regressive policy change which would deny children with special needs that extra time.
In December the Minister replied to Mary’s representations and confirmed that she would pause the proposed policy change, engage in consultation with stakeholders and continue the over age exemption to the ECCE scheme for children with special needs in September 2018.
Mary welcomes the Ministers decision and encourages parents, educators and all stakeholders to engage in the Minister’s proposed public consultation to ensure that this regressive policy change is permanently abandoned.