Childcare package ‘welcome’

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA and the party’s Equality Spokesperson, Martina Anderson has welcomed a childcare funding package announced by the NI Assembly. The £12million package is aimed at supporting existing provision of affordable childminding.

The proposals also include details on start-up packages for new childminder projects. Martina Anderson, MLA said: “I co-sponsored a Sinn Féin motion in the Assembly in April 2010 which, expressing concern ‘at the lack of availability of affordable, quality childcare.’ I am pleased to see that this motion is finally being acted on. This announcement is therefore very welcome. I am acutely aware of the impact the lack of affordable childcare has on our communities. Report after report has identified it as the main barrier preventing parents – mostly mothers – from obtaining or returning to work or training. It has also been identified as a major cause of child poverty in the North of Ireland. Parents who can’t access childcare, can’t access employment and find themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty from which there seems no escape. This £12million funding package will do much to alleviate many of the problems around affordable childminding provision.”