As Irish parents begin to avail of new childcare subsidies introduced last September, Limerick woman Lindsey Liston travels to Malta today (20.02.18) to take part in a professional study visit to learn about the free childcare system in Malta.
Ms Liston works with the Southill Family Resource Centre (FRC) in Limerick and has been involved with community education groups throughout the city for the past 10 years. She is also undertaking a PhD in Educational Disadvantage. At national level, Southill FRC is involved in the Community Education Network, run by AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation.
This trip is taking place as part of the ERASMUS+ ‘Making an Impact at European Level’ project, an EU-funded project that supports the professional development of adult education workers.
During her trip Ms Liston will visit the Ministry for Education and Employment in Malta and will meet with key policy-makers involved in devising their free childcare scheme.
Ms Liston will also learn from members of the Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Innovation about parental involvement in formal and informal education and how Ireland might learn from this.
Commenting in advance of her trip, Ms Liston said: “I am looking forward to seeing what we can learn from the Maltese initiative, in particular, the impact that the introduction of the free childcare scheme has had on levels of education and employment participation among parents. I am also interested in finding out more about how the initiative is funded.”
Speaking about the visit AONTAS CEO Niamh O’Reilly said: “This EU project aims to strengthen the work of the AONTAS Community Education Network by giving them an opportunity to visit partner organisations across Europe, where they can learn about best practice in adult and community education.
AONTAS is delighted to offer this opportunity to community groups from across Ireland so they can bring back new ideas to their own organisations and communities.”
Contact: Katie O’Rourke, Communications Lead AONTAS, Tel: 01-4068220/ 087-9086168, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editor
AONTAS is the National Adult Learning Organisation. Its mission is to advocate for the right of all adults in Ireland to quality learning throughout their lives, and to promote the value and benefits of lifelong learning. AONTAS has nearly 500 members including Education and Training Boards, community education centres, further education institutions and individual members. Visit www.aontas.com for more information.
About Erasmus+ Project
Within this two year ERASMUS + project, managed by AONTAS, 7 participating Community Education Network (CEN) organisations will send 16 staff members to other European countries to undertake a period of learning or professional development. The learning acquired by those participating in the project will help to increase knowledge, develop new skills and ideas as well increase opportunities to develop innovative projects with partners from around Europe.
Southill Family Resource Centre (FRC)
The Southill Family Resource Centre provides a range of services including a créche, pre-school, counselling service, services to the elderly and adult education.