Lyttle – We must do more to provide affordable childcare

Alliance OFMDFM spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said that the results of the Employers for Childcare survey have shown why we must do more to provide affordable and accessible childcare services. 4,500 parents completed the survey with 63% saying that they struggled with the costs of childcare and 46% saying they had to reduce their working hours to cut down on how much they spend on childcare. The average cost of full-time childcare is £158 per week which is £16,432 per year.

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “The results of this survey have further highlighted the financial challenge that childcare poses for many parents. We have known that the costs of childcare can act as a barrier for some parents to return to work and this survey has shown that a lot of parents are reducing their working hours to cut down on the amount of money they spend on childcare

“The publication of a Childcare Strategy is long overdue, so I welcome the recent publication of an Executive framework for childcare that is the first step towards such a document. I hope the ‘Bright Start’ framework will begin to address the problems associated with childcare and will lay a solid foundation for the forthcoming strategy.

“This is an important issue as local organisations have estimated that Northern Ireland is ten years behind the European standard for Government provision.

“My colleagues and I will continue to pursue this issue to ensure that no parent is disadvantaged from their attempts to return to work.

“I would like to pay tribute to the work that Employers for Childcare are doing to progress this issue and I would like to wish them all the best for future.”


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