Employers For Childcare Manifesto

The Northern Ireland Assembly elections are fast approaching and now is the time to take stock of the work which has been done by the Assembly over the last five years and think about the actions which should be taken by our next set of elected representatives in the new mandate.

Employers For Childcare Charitable Group’s Manifesto 2016 sets out the key social policy issues which we believe should be prioritised by policy makers and political parties. Each of our key asks are based on areas of need which are evidenced by our own work and research.

Five Key Actions

The manifesto sets out the issues that must be addressed in the next Programme for Government for the benefit of parents and families, but also the local labour market and economy:

1. Address the problems associated with childcare provision urgently

  • Publish and implement the Childcare Strategy as a matter of urgency.
  • Ensure adequate funding is available to finance the strategy.

2. Raise awareness of the financial help available to families

  • A commitment to ensure that all parents are aware of the financial support available to help them with the cost of childcare.
  • Implement a wide ranging, multi-platform, promotional campaign, similar to the ‘Make the Call’ campaign, targeted at parents.

3. Encourage the use of Family Friendly Working Policies

  • Promote and encourage employers to implement family friendly working policies.
  • End maternity discrimination by taking on board and implementing the proposals outlined in the forthcoming Equality Commission for Northern Ireland report.

4. Support the growth of Social Enterprise

  • Introduce legislation similar to the Social Value Act in Northern Ireland.

5. Tackle economic inactivity

  • Funds should be made available to implement the Economic Inactivity Strategy.

Time for Change

Commenting on the manifesto, Chief Executive at Employers For Childcare Marie Marin said:

At Employers For Childcare Charitable Group we are committed to supporting local parents and families. This manifesto sets out the key social policy areas that we feel must develop in order for our Assembly to proactively meet the needs of families in Northern Ireland. Without political will and policy development change will not happen. We are calling on our local politicians to put families first by investing in vital services, creating supportive workplaces, tackling economic inactivity and growing the Social Enterprise sector.