Northern Ireland

Call for new assembly to make early years a priority

Image caption Early Years wants more funding for the under-fives.

Northern Ireland's politicians are being encouraged to make early years education a priority for the incoming assembly.

Early Years, a group which campaigns on young children's issues, wants more money to be spent on pre-primary education and childcare.

Their election manifesto also calls for an early education and care act.

This would co-ordinate the work of nurseries, playgroups and child minders.

The organisation, which claims to be the biggest of its kind in Northern Ireland for young children, wants the incoming executive to increase or realign the percentage of the education budget spent on pre-schoolers.

Chief executive Siobahn Fitzpatrick said the previous assembly achieved a huge amount in the sphere of early years but the work was only beginning.

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