Pathways Funding secured for Newtownabbey pre-school
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The Pathway Fund was created to improve the development of children who are at risk of not reaching their full potential within the school system.
Last month this newspaper reported how the scheme was under threat of cut, with calls being made for the Department to continue the Pathway Fund programme.
Groups across east Antrim, including Rainbow Playgroup, Carrickfergus; Mount St Nicholas Playgroup, Carrickfergus; Larne Community Care Centre and Hollybank Pre-school were calling for the financial initiative to continue, as they would be impacted if the funding was not provided.
The restoration of the Pathway Fund to some groups across the province has been welcomed.
East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, has expressed his delight at the securing of Pathway Funding for another year at Hollybank.
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.
"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.”