McIlveen announces further measures to support childcare providers

Date published: 25 February 2022

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen today announced an extension to the Covid-19 Childcare Sustainability Fund for the period 1 January to 31 March 2022.

Covid-19 sustainability Fund

The Fund will assist the short-term viability of childcare providers and help ensure that they remain sustainable in the face of recent pressures resulting from the Omicron variant.

The Minister said: “Today, I am pleased to announce the Childcare Sustainability Fund for the period January to March 2022.  I have listened to concerns from childcare providers about the difficulties they are experiencing as a result of the Omicron variant and I have ensured that additional funding has been made available to them.

"I wish to thank everyone in the sector for their ongoing hard work and dedication.  This funding is in recognition of the vital services they provide in supporting children.”

The Covid-19 Childcare Sustainability Fund is open from 28 February 2022 for applications from eligible daycare and school-aged childcare settings, childminders, crèches and playgroups.  Eligible childcare providers will be able to apply for funding via Early Years – the Organisation for Young Children website.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The full announcement from Minister McIlveen is available here: 
  2. The Sustainability Fund will run from the 1 January to 31 March 2022.  It provides childcare providers with financial support towards the additional costs of adopting additional infection prevention measures and supports their financial viability during a period with reduced demand for services.
  3. This is the latest of a number of financial support schemes from the Department of Education designed and implemented specifically for the childcare sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.  This Fund is in addition to the Covid-19 Childcare Temporary Closure Fund announced recently which covers the same period.
  4. Applications to the Fund will open on 28 February 2022.  Early Years – the organisation for young children will administer the scheme on behalf of the Department. Full details of the Fund are available at
  5. Family Support NI will issue application links to eligible registered childcare providers on 28 February. Further queries or information required should be addressed to Early Years – the organisation for young children.
  6. Follow us on Twitter @Education_ni
  7. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at
  8. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service for media enquiries only 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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