Ministers Robin Swann and Peter Weir have unveiled details of plans to enhance funding and provision for the extension of childcare across Northern Ireland.
Minister Swann explained: “As a first step, we are proposing that the definition of keyworker is extended to bring it into line with the definition used for schools. This will enable a greater number of keyworkers who are parents to access childcare if they need it to be able to go to work.
“The initiative has been developed in line with medical and scientific advice and with input from across stakeholders from elected representatives, parents and childcare providers in respect of the importance of establishing a recovery plan for the childcare sector.”
Education Minister Peter Weir said “From Monday 8 June, we will be extending access to childcare provision to all of the keyworkers who are currently able to access school places. This is in line with the Executive’s Coronavirus Recovery Plan to enable as many people as possible to get back to work.
“This follows the Executive’s £12million allocation to support the childcare sector as part of the implementation of the COVID-19 Childcare Sector Support Scheme.
“As demand for childcare grows, we are determined to ensure that measures are in place to support all our people who are working tirelessly at the frontline of this current crisis. Today’s announcement will enable a greater number of keyworkers who are parents to access childcare if they need it to be able to go to work.”