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Rural Childcare recommendations due in January - McGill

17 September, 2007

Sinn Fein anti-poverty spokesperson, West Tyrone MLA Claire McGill says that she is encouraged that the Committee set up by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle Gildernew to examine the problem of accessing childcare in rural areas and to make recommendations on how to improve rural childcare provision, will now bring forward its findings in January.

Claire McGill said:

"The inability to secure access to childcare provision is a major problem for young families living in rural areas and I am encouraged to learn, in response to a written question I submitted to Michelle Gildernew, that the Rural Childcare Stakeholders Committee which she established to examine this important issue will be bringing forward its findings in January.

"Given that membership of this Committee is wide and includes childcare specialists, community groups, women's interests and government representatives, I am confident that this report will not only highlight the isolation experienced by youngsters in rural areas, due to the scarcity of childcare facilities such as crèche or after school facilities for older children, but will also contain firm proposals on how to such provision can be improved.

"Increased childcare provision is not only important in terms of enhancing the quality of life for young families in rural areas but for Sinn Fein it is also important in terms of addressing the issue of inequality of opportunity that currently exists on this issue between rural and urban communities." ENDS

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