Early Childhood Ireland has sharply criticised the move by Government to treat early years and childcare providers differently to schools in the latest Covid-19 measures, announced last night.

The organisation – which has 3,800 members nationwide, supporting over 100,000 children and their families – said it was deeply unhelpful to separate out crèches and childcare facilities from the wider education system.

Schools are to remain closed until 11 January under the revised plans agreed by Cabinet. Primary and secondary schools had been due to reopen on Wednesday 6 January.

The decision does not apply to childcare facilities or créches.

Teresa Heeney, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland, says It beggars belief that the early years and after-school sector would be disregarded and treated differently to the wider education system.

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