As the Scottish Government announces the delivery of its 200,000th baby box, a Fine Gael TD has called on the Minister for Children to not allow Covid continue to stall the planned Irish roll out.
Dublin Rathdown’s Deputy Neale Richmond has written to Minister Roderic O’Gorman calling on him to ensure the Programme for Government commitment to roll out the baby box is met.
“I was delighted to secure a commitment in the Programme for Government to roll out baby boxes across Ireland. The Scottish Government’s Baby Box scheme was started four years ago following long standing examples from places like Finland and Germany; it provides families with a range of essential items for their baby’s first six months.
“The contents of the box are designed to inform and support positive parenting behaviours, and the box itself can be used for the baby to sleep in.
“Providing baby boxes across Ireland will ensure that all newborn babies have the same basic supports for the start of their lives, regardless of their circumstances.
“Last year in Scotland, a record 98% of expectant parents requested a baby box, a significant rise on the 85% when they were first launched in 2017.
“It is vital the Government delivers on this very clear commitment included in the Programme for Government. The Department of Children has understandably cited the pandemic as a major factor in the delay of a nationwide roll out following various pilot schemes.
“However, that excuse simply won’t cut it forever and I have written to Minister O’Gorman asking him to not allow Covid continue to stall the planned Irish roll out.
“The delivery of 200,000 Scottish baby boxes shows Ireland the way, there can be no more delay,” concluded Deputy Richmond.