Meeting the childcare needs of families throughout COVID19

Childcare has been a critical issue throughout the COVID19 pandemic and has received significant public and media attention. It has been recognised as a priority for the Northern Ireland Executive and its important role in the reopening of key sectors of the economy, and in allowing people to return to work, has been acknowledged.

Employers For Childcare has been a member of an expert Childcare Reference Group, which has an important role in advising policy-makers as they seek to ensure childcare is accessible for those who require it, and that childcare providers are properly supported at this difficult time. The group has been meeting weekly since early May and its membership includes senior officials from the Departments of Health and Education, the Health and Social Care Board, Trusts, membership bodies and other sectoral stakeholders.

The Group is working hard to ensure accurate and up to date information on childcare, including the support available to the sector, is available as widely as possible, and in a timely fashion, to parents, employers and childcare providers.

A Childcare Recovery Support package is now available to childcare providers, to assist in recovery and building capacity across the sector. This scheme applies to registered childcare – day care and school age childcare settings, playgroups and childminders – who re-open, or remain open, in the period 1 July to 31 August 2020.

We are providing regular updates on this page, highlighting some of the developments that have taken place. In the meantime, the contact details of the range of support organisations are available in the briefings on this page.

For free, impartial and confidential advice on childcare, including the financial support available, contact our Family Benefits Advice Service on 0800 028 3008 or email hello@employersforchildcare.org.