Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2022 – Policy Manifesto

Five key priorities for elected representatives

Employers For Childcare’s policy manifesto sets out key issues that must be addressed as priorities for the new mandate, for the benefit of children and parents, for the local labour market and economy, and for society as a whole.

Evidenced through our work and research with parents, childcare providers and employers, we present clear ‘calls for commitment’ for our elected representatives, which should be embedded in a new Programme for Government. If enacted, these will have a real, positive impact on all our people, right across Northern Ireland.

The new Northern Ireland Executive must commit to:

1/ Delivering an ambitious, inclusive and fully funded Childcare Strategy that

  • Enables all parents to access and afford the high quality childcare of their choice without it costing a significant proportion of their income
  • Supports all childcare providers to confidently deliver quality, accessible childcare sustainably while investing in their staff and provision
  • Ensures all children can benefit from the significant developmental benefits of quality childcare, regardless of their circumstances
  • Benefits all employers in being able to recruit, develop and retain the staff they need.

2/ Taking action to increase uptake of financial support with registered childcare costs through:

  • An awareness raising campaign targeted at parents, employers and childcare providers to increase awareness that financial support is available
  • Encouraging all parents to call Employers For Childcare’s Family Benefits Advice Service on 0800 028 3008 to find out what financial support they are entitled to
  • Investing resources to support the provision of the independent advice service for parents.

3/ Ensuring all jobs are ‘better jobs’ where employees can benefit from flexible, family friendly working policies by:

  • Ensuring that offering flexible, family friendly working arrangements and access to advice on childcare, are components of the ‘Better Jobs’ pledge
  • Undertaking a review of how Government policies could better support those who are working and have caring responsibilities
  • Embedding the critical role of childcare across all economic strategies
  • Piloting the development of a ‘workplace nursery’ on the Stormont Estate and rolling out learning to all sectors of the economy.

4/ Ending poverty by:

  • Delivering an Anti-Poverty Strategy with ambitious targets and a clear action plan, that is informed by those with lived experience of poverty
  • Strengthening the social security system so it supports families who would otherwise be struggling, and prevents them from being pulled into poverty
  • Ensuring all families know about, and are able to access, independent advice about the financial support they are entitled to, and that helps parents get into, stay in and progress in work.

5/ Unlocking the added positive social value of a thriving social economy by:

  •  Introducing a Social Value Act that requires all public bodies to consider choosing providers based on the social value created and not on cost alone
  • Developing clear guidance and training, co-designed with the sector, to support the scoring of social value in public procurement contracts.

You can download our full Manifesto at the top right of this page.

To discuss our manifesto, or for more information, contact Aoife Hamilton, Head of Charity Services on 028 9267 8200 or email


Employers For Childcare publishes its Policy Manifesto ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2022 setting out the key priorities which must be addressed by a new Executive.