SDLP Upper Bann Westminster Candidate Dolores Kelly MLA has said that cuts to Early Years funding to groups operating in Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown will devastate child development and reveals the value the Education Minister places in it.
Mrs Kelly said: “I was shocked to hear that so many groups across Craigavon, Portadown and Lurgan have had Early Years Funding cut as a result of the Sinn Féin/DUP austerity budget. Early Years intervention has been shown to be vital for children and their parents. Where we still have significant levels of educational underachievement, fuelled by social disadvantage, early years projects have been pivotal in closing the attainment gap. Aside from the devastating effects that these cuts are having on children and schools, the particular cut to Early Years reflects the Minister’s ambivalence toward tackling disadvantage. Our communities deserve better.”