Investing in the children of Dublin South West is the best way to cut poverty and inequality. We can only ensure all children get an equal start by investing in high quality early care and education, after school care and children’s health services.
As an educator Katherine is fighting for substantial increases in spending to ensure excellence and affordability in early childhood and after-school services. In her ‘Equal Start’ report she outlines a pathway to Nordic-style early years and childhood support services in Ireland that would guarantee every child an equal, high-quality start in life.
Katherine proposes the establishment of a one-stop shop for family services that would provide development and wellness monitoring for all children, access routes to early intervention services and parenting resources. The initiatives in ‘Equal Start’ will greatly improve the education and health outcomes for all children in Ireland.
Disability must not be a barrier to equality. Katherine is fighting to reverse cuts to frontline disability services and carer supports. Dublin South West needs funding to develop community based infrastructures.
She has published the Right to Love Bill (2014), which removes the outdated requirement that people with disabilities have to be married in order to have intimate relationships, and this will ensure respect and equality.
Katherine is seeking targeted funding for childcare providers and schools so that there are enough special needs assistants and resources in local schools.
Through her community work in Dublin South West Katherine has seen that job activation supports must be made available to all people with disabilities. In the Dáil she will ensure that the economic contribution by carers is recognised by the state and that eligibility for medical cards is based on medical need.
Katherine champions equal opportunities for women in the workplace, education, health services and public life. Family-services such as affordable and accessible childcare are vital for women to progress in society.
Low pay and precarious work conditions are barriers to women balancing work, care, education and public participation. Katherine is passionately campaigning for decent working conditions, including a living wage and abolishing low and zero hours contracts which impact women disproportionately.
Katherine has been steadfast in calling on the Government to reverse the disproportionate cuts to lone parents’ supports and has worked to create fair policies to support one parent families.
Katherine is also campaigning for greater investment in women’s health and maternity services. She wants BreastCheck rolled out to all women aged 65–69. Funding for the forthcoming maternity strategy needs to be ring fenced and the midwife ratios need to be brought to international standards. Katherine supports the campaign to repeal the 8th amendment.