Education Minister announces measures to support childcare providers

Date published: 22 July 2020

New proposals to assist recovery in the childcare sector have been announced today.

Education Minister, Peter Weir outlined the plans following the allocation of a £10.5 million funding package for the childcare sector.

The Childcare Recovery Support package will help childcare providers to reopen, or remain open, and will apply to day care and school age childcare settings, play groups and childminders.

The package of measures developed for the period 1 July to 31 August will:

  • provide financial support to childcare providers to assist them to operate within the parameters of the Executive’s childcare recovery plan
  • ensure as many providers as possible can open to assist parents returning to work
  • allow for the continuation of the bespoke Approved Home Childcarer Scheme aimed at enabling parents to have their childcare needs met in their own homes;

Minister Weir said: “Registered childcare providers offer safe and nurturing environments for children and we must do all we can to ensure these providers are supported to open and operate within current public health advice.

“My Department has developed proposals to assist the childcare sector as they begin to re-open in line with Executive economic recovery planning.  This includes support for registered day care and school age settings, childminders and playgroups. 

“I know that we can rely on your commitment and professionalism and I want to thank all providers for the work they do to support children and parents.

“Your continued support at this critical time will be vital in re-opening the sector and to deal with the challenges facing our society as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.” 

    Notes to editors: 

    1.  Minister Weir's announcement can be read here.
    2. These are emergency measures that will apply in accordance with the Executive’s overall decisions in response to Covid-19
    3. The Scheme will be open for applications on 27 July and be administered by the Early Years Organisation, the organisation for young children
    4. Follow us on Twitter @Education_ni
    5. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at Press.Office@education-ni.gov.uk
    6. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110

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