Nicholl secures UK and Ireland-wide childcare inquiry at British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly

Alliance Early Years and Childcare spokesperson Kate Nicholl MLA has said she is “thrilled” the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly Economic Affairs Committee will be conducting an inquiry into childcare following her proposal, alongside other parliamentarians from across these islands. 

Kate Nicholl Childcare

The committee will be seeking evidence from a wide range of interested parties as part of a review into the importance of childcare as economic infrastructure across the UK and Ireland. 

The South Belfast MLA said it was a crucial opportunity to learn lessons from childcare schemes implemented in other regions as we look towards the development of the early learning and childcare strategy in Northern Ireland.

“For too long now, parents and providers in Northern Ireland have been managing a crisis in the childcare sector without the necessary supports,” she said.

“They have been doing so in the context of increased investment in childcare schemes across these islands and no additional investment at home. 

“I was pleased to propose this inquiry and thrilled it will be happening. It presents an opportunity for us to learn lessons from other jurisdictions to help us develop the best possible childcare scheme for children, parents and providers in Northern Ireland. 

“It is crucial we not only invest in childcare, but we create the right kind of system that truly delivers for our children, parents and providers. I am looking forward to getting this inquiry underway and to working alongside others campaigning for childcare reform to ensure we can learn lessons and implement the best scheme in Northern Ireland, to support parents with rising costs, put child development at the heart of our system, and ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector. 

“It is long past time for investment in and reform of our childcare system and this inquiry will make a positive contribution to reform of the childcare system in Northern Ireland.”