Respond welcomes new Area Based Response to Child Poverty

Respond Housing Association welcomes the recent announcement by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to launch the new Area Based Response to Child Poverty Programme 2013 – 2016, which focuses on prevention and early intervention pre-school childcare, which is aimed at increased parental support and involvement.

Respond Housing Association have been involved in the delivery of pre-school childcare services , since its inception in 1982.  Currently, Respond manages 5 preschools , 9 after-schools, 9 full-day services throughout the country, providing services to over 500 children.

Original design by children from Respond’s Ard Mór Court Community Hub
Respond Housing Association appreciates the very positive impact that their services are having on children.  However, Respond believes that this recently announced programme affords the sector the opportunity to deliver better and enhanced outcomes from  services users.   Respond’s experience of delivering childcare in disadvantaged communities across the country has identified a real need to strengthen the parent/child relationship.  Respond are confident that an inter-agency approach to the delivery of pre-school services, which increases the capacity of the parent and by extension, strengthens the bond between parent and child will have long  lasting benefits to families and within the Community.


Respond feels it would be a great shame if the current discussions around funding and delivery of early education, neglected to consider the possibility of enhancing Community Childcare services aimed at improved outcomes being delivered. Powerful evidence suggests positive and engaged parents have a major influence on their child’s overall achievements. Children learn rapidly from their early days and their experiences in their early years alongside direct involvement from their parent/s lays down the strong foundation for their future development.  Respond believes that young children need to have a secure relationship with a parent / caregiver in an early years learning environment in order to develop socially, emotionally and cognitively.

Respond Regional Manager Tom Power stated that;

‘The working relationship and partnership Respond are currently building with parents is envisaged to positively enhance children’s development, attachment, interactions and learning both in the early years setting and the home environment’

This new area based Programme of Department of Children and Youth Affairs is being delivered as part of the Government’s commitment to build on the learning from existing prevention and early intervention programmes to help break the cycle of child poverty and improve outcomes for children and young people.

Respond believes this initiative creates a local conduit facilitating statutory and non-statutory service providers to come together to target vulnerable groups in our immediate communities, ensuring the supports get directly to where it is needed most.