Childcare has been, and will continue to be, a day one priority for Alliance, says Nicholl

Alliance Early Years and Childcare spokesperson Kate Nicholl MLA has said a Childcare Strategy should be a day one priority for the new Executive.

It comes following the publication of Alliance’s childcare policy document, ‘Children First’, in October 2023 which sets out the party’s proposals for reforming childcare provision in Northern Ireland. The full document is available to view here:


Speaking ahead of the imminent restoration of the Assembly and Executive, the South Belfast MLA has said: “The last two years without government has been devastating for households and families, and there can be no further time wasted in delivering on childcare reform.


“Childcare reform has been and continues to be a day one priority for myself and my colleagues in the Alliance Party. Alliance remains the only party to have published detailed proposals for childcare reform and we are absolutely committed to delivering child-centred, flexible, affordable, high-quality childcare through our devolved institutions.


We have been working in a particularly focused manner on this issue for well over 18 months, meeting with parents, academics, businesses, childcare providers and other stakeholders, including the Department of Education, to develop policy proposals that will deliver a better system for our families.


I know that the cost of childcare in Northern Ireland is astronomical, and that parents and families are really struggling to cope. That they’re being forced to make impossible choices between their career and caring for their children. It is an unacceptable and unsustainable situation, and remains a key priority for myself and the Alliance Party as we look towards the restoration of the Assembly and Executive.


Now is the time to finally deliver on transforming our childcare system, as key social and economic infrastructure, for the benefit of our children, families, and the whole of society. We will not waver in our commitment to driving this issue forward at every possible opportunity.”