Barnardos, the National Women’s Council of Ireland, OPEN and Start Strong held a seminar “Scandinavian Childcare: Making It Happen” on March 4th 2013. The four organisations are calling on the Government to prioritise the development of quality, subsidised childcare and afterschool care for all children to support their development and remove barriers to work for parents. At the moment, services differ greatly in terms of quality and availability and they can be very expensive for parents.
Ms Frances Byrne, Director with OPEN presented the survey findings of the online parents’ survey that the four organisations conducted to identify their experiences of current arrangements and wishes for future development in relation to childcare and afterschool care.
Mr Toby Wolfe, Acting Director with Start Strong presented the recommendations of the four organisations on how Ireland can progress towards achieving a Scandinavian model of childcare and afterschool care.
Much can be learnt and adopted from the Nordic countries who have a long history of supporting investing in quality service which enable parents juggle their caring responsibilities and work life. Prof Tine Rostgaard, of Aalborg University in Denmark explains the different aspects of the Nordic model.