Chris Lyttle MLA said: “The publication of a Childcare Strategy is long overdue, so I welcome this step towards such a strategy. I have worked and campaigned for a comprehensive and challenging Childcare strategy since I became an MLA in 2010.
“This is a serious issue that needs urgent attention as local childcare organisations have estimated that we are ten years behind the European standard for Government provision.
“I also welcome the intention to hold a publicity campaign to raise awareness of the benefits and tax credits that are available to working age families. Affordable and adequate childcare is essential to help parents return to work and plays an important role in the development of our children.
“I am however disappointed and concerned that such an important statement was only released in written form by OFMDFM rather than being brought to the Assembly for consideration. There are also several issues that will need further work before the final strategy is published. There is very little information about the funding arrangements of any strategy. It would also need to deliver better services for children with disabilities.
“I will be sponsoring a Stormont event in November on childcare and I look forward to examining the adequacy of these proposals with those that it will affect.”