Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle said:”The parents and children who benefit from Playzone have been waiting on this confirmation of funding since May 2010. There were serious breakdowns in communication between OFMDFM and the Department of Health on this matter which has caused significant distress and anxiety for our local community. Playzone staff were unsure of contracts and working parents could not make long term plan for childcare.
“I am glad that I was able to play a part in the campaign that secured this much needed funding until May 2011 and am extremely pleased at this outcome. Playzone is vital in helping meet the developmental needs of children in Inner East Belfast and in helping our adults into work. I wish everyone connected with this project all the best for the coming year’s programme. I want to take this opportunity; however, to call on OFMDFM to deliver on its commitment to have a Childcare Strategy and lead department in place by the end of this year so that we can avoid risking more vital services of this nature going to the wall.”