July 24, 2020
Childcare recovery must reflect role of childminders – Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA Catherine Kelly has called on the Education Minister to review his Childcare Recovery Plan to reflect the important role child minders have played during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Party spokesperson on Children and Young People said: 

“The Education Minister Peter Weir needs to urgently revise his proposed derisory payment for childminders, which equates to £8.52 a day, less than one hour of the minimum wage.

“Childminders, like others in the childcare sector, stepped up to ensure our health and other key workers could continue to go to work during the pandemic knowing their children were safely and securely looked after.

“It is important we now support the sector in playing what is a vital role in the recovery.

“Minister Weir has already presided over one failed childcare support scheme where, despite funding being made available by the Minister of Finance, it was not made accessible by the Education Minister to the childcare sector.This resulted in a very low uptake on the previous scheme contrary to the significant need for support in the sector. 

“While I welcome the introduction of a new support scheme the funding allocated to childminders is simply not good enough.

“Childcare workers and, in particular, childminders, are predominantly women and the contribution they make to our economy is far too often undervalued. This needs to change.” 

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