‘Families should have access to childcare and child development’ - Kelly
Measures should be taken to ensure that all families here have access to affordable childcare and child development opportunities, Sinn Féin MLA Catherine Kelly has said.
The party’s spokesperson for Children and Young People was commenting after Employers for Childcare released their annual childcare cost survey.
The West Tyrone MLA commented: “Employers for Childcare reported that the average cost of a childcare place in the North of Ireland is £168 per week, which accounts for 40 per cent of average household income. In almost a third of households, the childcare cost is more than their mortgage or rent. Added to this is the fact that children in low-income families and in rural areas may have only very limited or no access to child development opportunities.
“Childcare and child development needs to be seen in the context of giving children a better start in life and providing support to families.
“Cleary, additional measures need to be put in place to ensure that children and families have access to affordable childcare services and that children in all families have access to child development. That is why we urgently need a more co-ordinated approach to Early Years, Childcare and Child Development some of which would be achieved by the publication of the Childcare Strategy.”