Derry MLA welcomes major boost for SureStart

Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Karen Mullan.Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Karen Mullan.
Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Karen Mullan. | Other 3rd Party
Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has welcomed an additional allocation of £1.45 million funding to Sure Start.

The Foyle MLA said: “Addressing the gap between the most and least advantaged children in relation to educational attainment is fundamental to building a fairer, more equal society.

“Early intervention to ensure every child starts school with the tools to succeed has been shown to be one of the most effective interventions.

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“The impact of Covid-19, not the virus itself but the impact of the measures necessary to address this health crisis, are disproportionately having an adverse impact on children from less advantaged backgrounds. Additional financial support for progressive interventions like Sure Start is good news at a time when many children and their families are facing difficult challenges.”

Meanwhile the Department of Health has written to registered childcare providers regarding accessing support available to enable a number of registered daycare settings, school age childcare settings and childminders to remain open for vulnerable children and those of key workers.

The letter also explains what support is available for settings which remain closed and are unable to reopen.

Childcare providers and childminders who are eligible for financial assistance under the childcare provision scheme will receive an application form within days.

A high number of applications are expected and the aim is to process them as quickly as possible, the department has said.