Childcare For All campaign: One year on

On 1 May 2018, the Childcare for All campaign, of which Employers For Childcare co-convenes, was launched at Stormont. The campaign calls for universally affordable, accessible, quality childcare provision in Northern Ireland that meets the needs of children, families, childcare workers and providers and benefits society. The campaign is made up of a range of civic society organisations who bring together knowledge and experience from across sectors. The campaign provides the opportunity for these groups to speak with one voice calling for greater investment in childcare and a robust, costed childcare strategy.

One year on, the campaign continues to push for progress. We have developed a Childcare for All Charter setting out a vision of a childcare system that can work for parents and the childcare sector. We have organised a number of events to bring together stakeholders including parents and childcare providers, along with elected representatives, policy-makers and others with an interest in the issue. Our events have included:

  • Campaign launch at Stormont: provided an overview of the campaign and highlighted key areas for action, securing support from political representatives.
  • Family Fun Day: this gave families an opportunity to meet and discuss childcare, putting their views directly to a range of political representatives.
  • Policy Conference: this brought stakeholders together to hear a range of research and evidence from those working in the childcare sector in Northern Ireland.

The campaign has produced a short video which includes powerful, everyday stories from parents discussing the difficulties they face in accessing affordable childcare in Northern Ireland. The video is available to view here.

Next steps

As a coalition we continue to work collectively on this campaign, engaging with policy-makers to ensure childcare policy is on the political agenda and that childcare provision and delivery can work for all – families, childcare providers, employers and society as a whole. We will soon be publishing a paper drawing together insights from our Policy Conference, so watch this space!

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