Dickson Delighted with the Securement of Pathways Funding for Hollybank Pre-School
East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, has expressed his delight at the securing of Pathway Funding for another year.
Pathway Funding is key to Hollybank Pre-School if it is to continue, and is essential to ensure children’s development during the Early Years.
Mr Dickson said: “After a strong campaign to the Department of Education, it is a welcome decision to see that Pathways Funding continues for another year.
“When I met with Hollybank Pre-School and other Pre-Schools in East Antrim in April, when these cuts were first announced, staff were extremely anxious about the potential of the funding being cut, which would lead to staff losing their jobs. Thankfully, now, the pre-school facility is financially secure for another year.”
The Alliance Party’s Education Spokesperson, Connie Egan MLA said: “While it is good news for the many organisations who would have had their services affected, I am dismayed at the treatment of the sector by the Department throughout this entire time. To publicly propose funding cuts, subsequently communicate poorly throughout, and then, at the last minute, announce a U-turn, added considerably to the organisations’ stress. It was no way to treat those delivering vital services.”
Mr Dickson concluded: "Budget decisions of this nature are inherently political and should be taken by a Minister. It once again reiterates the pressing need for the DUP to end their deadlock, restore power-sharing and join the other parties in taking strategic decisions to help protect those who need it the most.”
Today (Wednesday), Mr Dickson was pleased to visit Hollybank Pre-School in Monkstown and see first-hand the excellent work and to meet with Lorraine Brier, the Pre-School Leader. The school receives a wide range of community support from all the parents, who are equally, delighted the funding in continuing.