Lyttle says more support needs to be given to parents

Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has said more support needs to be given to parents after a report showed the cost of childcare here continues to rise.

East Belfast MLA Mr Lyttle was speaking after helping launch a new report by charity Employers for Childcare at Stormont, which showed a full-time place now costs £8,528 per year.

Of the 5,000 local parents who took part in a survey for the report, 56 per cent were under increased financial pressure due to the childcare bill and 24 per cent were forced to rely on other means to regularly meet their childcare payments.

“The findings of this report are worrying,” said Mr Lyttle.

“Clearly the cost of childcare has increased higher than the rate of inflation, which is difficult for many parents to cope with. Ensuring parents have access to affordable, professional and qualified childcare is vital if we are to make it easier for them to remain in employment.

“The Executive’s draft childcare strategy, which is currently out to consultation, needs to ensure long-term planning takes place so all parents and guardians can access the best possible childcare in an affordable manner.”

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