Cuts could close playgroup

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Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called on the Education Minister John O’Dowd to immediately halt plans to cut funding to the Early Years Fund for the 2015-16 financial year, the effects of which are likely to see the closure and loss of jobs at the Mother Goose playgroup in Ballycastle.

Describing the proposed cuts as shameless, Councillor Cunningham, Chair of Moyle Council, said: “I have spoken to staff at the playgroup who have been informed that the group is likely to close from October. The Minister’s proposed reduction of £2m from the Early Years Fund is disgraceful and unjustified; the effects of these cuts will have profound consequences and will destroy the progress made to address serious issues relating to literacy and numeracy.

“The Department has demonstrated a complete lack of morality in their implementation of Tory cuts, the standard of education for our children is something which we cannot allow to be sacrificed.”

“Ballycastle stood shoulder to shoulder to fight the closure of the Dalriada hospital, we will do so again to oppose cuts in the education sector.”