Belfast Telegraph

Fears over early learning strategy

Parents and teachers have gathered at Stormont to voice concern about proposed changes to early learning education.

They were joined by other stakeholders for the event at Parliament Buildings to discuss the draft Early Years Strategy.

The blueprint, which is currently out for public consultation, aims to create a system that would ensure all young children in Northern Ireland can access appropriate services.

But critics have claimed it is incoherent and does not set out how education will be delivered on the ground.

The seminar was arranged by members of Stormont's Education Committee and officials from the Department of Education were invited to field questions.

Committee chair Mervyn Storey said: "When the department published the Draft Early Years Strategy, both the committee and key stakeholders raised major concerns about it.

"The committee felt that this event would give parents and stakeholder representatives a platform to have their say and get clarity on the draft strategy directly from the department.

"The importance of early years in a child's development is not disputed. It is important to make sure that the draft strategy addresses the key issues and clearly sets out its objectives and how they will be achieved."

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