UN Special Rapporteur visit to the UK

Employers For Childcare has provided written evidence to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. Professor Philip Alston will undertake an official visit to the United Kingdom from 6 to 16 November 2018 at the invitation of the UK Government. His visit will focus, in accordance with his mandate, on the links between poverty and the realisation of human rights in the United Kingdom.

Evidence points to childcare playing a key role in lifting children out of poverty by tackling barriers to parental employment and helping to give children and young people the best start in life. Employers For Childcare tracks the cost of childcare in Northern Ireland, and the impact that this can have on households in terms of their finances, working patterns and overall well-being.

Through our work with families, our written evidence highlights how flexible, affordable and high quality childcare is critical to tackling poverty in Northern Ireland. Early education and high quality childcare can help to address the effects of poverty on children and families by supporting children’s development and improving education outcomes. It is also necessary in supporting parents to extend their household income through accessing or progressing in work, or taking up education and training opportunities, and reducing the proportion of household income that is spent on childcare.

Our key recommendations are:

  • Ensure adequate funding is invested in delivering access to high quality, affordable childcare for all families in Northern Ireland;
  • Scope requirements for the introduction of support equivalent to the 30 hours free childcare scheme currently available in England;
  • Recognise the clear links between childcare and early education; and
  • Explore the introduction of a statutory duty to ensure access to high quality, affordable childcare.

For further information on the UN Special Rapporteur visit please see: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/CallforinputUK.aspx