Sinn Féin MLA Catherine Kelly MLA welcomed measures to ease access to childcare announced today.
“I welcome today’s announcements on childcare which signals an important step for the recovery of the sector that has been struggling through the crisis often without sufficient support from the departments of Health and Education.
“Access to childcare is crucial for the recovery of the economy without which many people would be unable to return to work.
“A number of changes have been announced will come as a great relief to many parents and those within the childcare sector itself.
“Lifting the restriction of key workers will allow more parents to apply for childcare and for the childcare sector to begin to re-open and get back on its feet.
“Increasing capacity within childcare settings next month and allowing childminders to care for children from more households at the end of this month is important for providers viability.
“While these developments are welcome it must be stressed that these are subject to public health and scientific advice around social distancing and hand hygiene and it is important the department supports the childcare sector to provide services safely.
“Future plans to provide additional support for this sector will consolidate childcare provision moving forward as we recover, step by step, from this pandemic.
“Today is an important step along the way to recovery for the childcare sector.”