Northern Ireland

Concerns over Early Years proposals to be discussed

In the UK, children start school up to three years earlier than Sweden
Image caption Raising the school starting age to six is one of the proposals contained in the consultation

The Assembly's education committee will meet on Wednesday to address some of the Department of Education's proposals for the care of young children.

The Early Years strategy, which is out for consultation, has faced serious criticism.

Concerns range from a lack of detail on what should happen to children under three to conflicts over how well trained child care staff need to be.

Consultation closes at the end of November.

The education committee decided to set up a conference to bring all sides together following a number of complaints about the department's strategy for children up to six years.

The proposals also include raising the school starting age to six years old in line with most of Europe.

Mervyn Storey has organised Wednesday's investigation into the consultation paper.

"I think that if the conclusion of that consultation is that there needs to be further work done then I think it would be better going back to the department to ensure that we get it right, rather than something that does not have wholesale support," he said.

Teachers and child care workers have until the end of this month to formally make their views known to the department of education.

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