NATURAL AND EVIDENCE BASED
Ireland’s Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures provides a concise set of principles relevant to the development of policy in relation to School Age Childcare or SAC.
- The first is a ‘Children’s Rights Principle’, that the rights of children, as outlined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN, 1989), are recognised, and that child-centred approaches are adopted. It is acknowledged that children have developmental and age-appropriate needs that change over time, and that children are sometimes vulnerable and largely dependent on adults for their care and needs.
- The second is a ‘Family-orientated Principle’, that the family is recognised as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of children. It is acknowledged that parents have the primary responsibility for their child’s upbringing and development, and that the State has a duty to assist parents in fulfilling their child-rearing responsibilities.
- The third is the ‘Principle of Equality’, a principle which acknowledges the diversity of children’s experiences, abilities, identities and cultures and that the reduction of inequality is promoted as a means of improving outcomes and achieving greater social inclusion
- The fourth is a commitment to the ‘Principle of Evidence-informed Policy’ and that such policy is outcomes-focused. To be effective, policies and services must be evidence-informed and outcomes focused.
- Fifth is a commitment to an ‘Accountability and Resource Efficiency Principle’. Clear implementation, monitoring and accountability mechanisms and lines of responsibility for delivery are in place to drive timely and effective policy implementation.