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ECCE: Irish mum whose child has special needs has a message for Minister Katherine Zappone

ECCE: Irish mum whose child has special needs has a message for Minister Katherine Zappone

child writing letter at christmas
Trish is the mother of a little boy with down syndrome, named Odhran. We have published Trish's family story in the past. You can read it here. But this time she would like us to publsh a piece to highlight an important issue that may affect a lot of families with children who have special needs.
 
The issue is the threat of cutting the overage exemption for ECCE, which allows children with special needs to spread two ECCE years over three, and allow them to start primary school a year later, if they weren't ready to start with their peers. 
 
Trish tells us that Minister Katherine Zappone has just yesterday announced that she has "paused" the proposed changes to the ECCE scheme due to come into place in Sept 2018. However the changes HAVE NOT been reversed and as such the threat still looms.
 
Trish and a group of Irish parents have started a campaign to have it revearsed and abolished and not just paused. The group is called 'Reverse ECCE cuts'.
Their using the hashtag #ALLIWANTFORCHRISTMASISMYECCE on social media if you want to look it up!
 
The tradition of sending Christmas cards is dying out fast in our age of technology with facebook etc but she thinks we should resurrect it on this occasion.
 
She's pleading with Irish people to send a Christmas card to the Minister Katherine Zappone at her constituency office at 45 Main Street, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24, and for the cards to all arrive on the same day - Monday Dec 11th (which means posting it tomorrow - Friday December 8th). She's asking that each card simply state "Looking forward to a worried Christmas because of the ending of the overage exemptions to ECCE scheme".
 
They are looking for support to make sure the exemption scheme is reinstated. Trish told us that the announcement this week is "a good step in the right direction towards our end goal. Onwards and upwards, but and all please continue with campaign to send Christmas cards".
 
If you are interested in taking part, you know what to do!