Employers For Childcare launches important survey for parents

We all know that childcare has been a key issue for parents, employers and policy-makers throughout COVID-19. As we relied on key workers across all sectors to be able to go to work, providing essential services in healthcare, retail and many other areas of the economy, those who were parents often struggled to find the childcare they needed – with many providers required to close and grandparents and other family support not available.

What policy makers now need is evidence directly from you – we want to highlight the experiences of all parents in Northern Ireland of how they found accessing, and paying for childcare, during COVID-19 and how this has impacted on their ability to work.

  • Did you struggle to work while caring for young children?
  • Has your employer been supportive in recognising your caring responsibilities?
  • Was your normal childcare provider closed and were you able to find an alternative?
  • Are you using more or less childcare now than before?

Every year, Employers For Childcare produces the most comprehensive survey of parents and childcare providers’ experiences of childcare in Northern Ireland in the Northern Ireland Childcare Survey. However, the data for the 2020 survey was collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic so we are now asking parents to complete a very short, follow-up survey, to enable us to include these valuable experiences in our 2020 report.

We will use the information collected to inform our work in campaigning for increased investment in our childcare infrastructure and better support for parents with accessing affordable childcare. The survey will take about 5 minutes, and all those who complete it will be entered into a draw to win a £50 shopping voucher.

The survey is available here.

Thank you for your support – by sharing your experiences you are providing us with the evidence we need to work on your behalf and ensure childcare receives the recognition it deserves as a key economic enabler.  Parents need access to childcare in order for us all to enjoy a prosperous economy.

Employers For Childcare has been tracking the cost, affordability and provision of childcare in Northern Ireland through its annual ‘Northern Ireland Childcare Survey’ since 2010. It is the most extensive study of its kind in Northern Ireland and is used widely to inform political debates, policy development in relation to the affordability of childcare, and service delivery.