Annual General Meeting of All Party Group on Early Education and Childcare takes place

The All Party Group (APG) on Early Education and Childcare met via Zoom on 23 May 2024 to elect officers and re-affirm its purpose to drive policy and legislative development, promote best practice and improve practical provision in relation to the delivery of early education and childcare in Northern Ireland on a cross-party, cross-departmental and cross-sector basis.

The Annual General Meeting of the Group saw Nicola Brogan (Sinn Féin) elected as Chair and Diane Dodds (DUP), Sinead McLaughlin (SDLP) and Kate Nicholl (Alliance) elected to the positions of Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

Speaking following the meeting, Nicola Brogan said: “I am delighted to continue in the role of Chair of the All Party Group on Early Education and Childcare at this important time when we are seeing some much-needed financial support on its way for struggling families and childcare providers.

“The work of this APG has been key in driving forward the policy agenda on childcare and I look forward to continuing to work constructively with the officers and members of the group, as well as Departmental officials and other stakeholders, to continue to press for investment in our childcare sector to benefit children, parents, employers and the wider economy and society. This APG attracts attendance from across the childcare sector but also wider stakeholders from business and other sectors, which is important recognition of the vital role of childcare and its workforce to our economy”.

Looking ahead

At today’s AGM, officers of the All Party Group on Early Education and Childcare agreed an outline forward work programme to include SEN, equality, a focus on early years, pedagogy and a joint meeting with the new All Party Group on Skills (to be scheduled for 2025). The Group has also invited Education Minister Paul Givan to attend and is awaiting confirmation of a date for this meeting.

The next meeting of the APG will be circulated in due course.

Further information about the All Party Group, and a link to updates from previous meetings, can be found here.

Employers For Childcare provides the Secretariat for the All Party Group on Early Education and Childcare – correspondence