£25m package for Early Years & Childcare

Education Minister Paul Givan, has today announced a £25 million package of measures to support children, parents and providers with early learning and childcare in 2024/25.

By Paul Givan MLA

Lagan Valley

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The package of measures is designed to stabilise and support expansion of the early learning and childcare sector, offer all children 22.5 hours pre-school education per week and reduce childcare bills for working parents through a Northern Ireland Childcare Subsidy Scheme.

Speaking after Executive approval of the support measures the Minister said:

“This is an ambitious package of measures for early learning and childcare representing the most significant enhancement of early years investment in Northern Ireland in decades.

This investment clearly demonstrates that, despite an extremely challenging budget position, the Executive remains committed to making support for young children, their families, and the services they rely on, a top priority.

I very much welcome the Executive’s commitment to the delivery of 22.5 hours funded pre-school education for all children in their pre-school year. This is an unprecedented expansion of early years developmental provision in over 25 years and will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the lives of children in Northern Ireland for decades to come.

It is a necessarily ambitious programme which will ease current pressures on parents and providers and lay the foundation upon which I intend to build.

This is by no means the limit of my ambitions, but rather an important first step towards a full Early Learning and Childcare Strategy.”

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