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Education Minister Peter Weir has today announced an increase in the award to childminders from the Childcare Recovery Support Fund.

Education Minister Peter Weir has today announced an increase in the award to childminders from the Childcare Recovery Support Fund.

The Minister has agreed to award an additional £300 to childminders for the period of the Fund, which ran from July to August 2020.

The increase will mean that the amount available to childminders who were open by 7 August will rise from £300 to £600. Those open from 8 August to 31 August will be entitled to £450, up from £150.

The increase has been made following a joint proposal from Northern Ireland Childminding Association (NICMA) and Unite the Union Registered Childminders' NI Branch (Unite).

In addition, the closing date for applications has been extended to 2 October 2020 to enable those that have not already applied to do so.

Minister Weir said: “This award will provide a further contribution towards childminders’ additional costs associated with operating within the Department of Health guidelines on infection control within their own home.

“Registered childminders provide a valuable service caring for children in their own homes, enabling parents to return to work.

“This additional award will significantly increase the amount awarded to childminders and provide valuable support in these challenging times.”

The enhanced award is available for all childminders and will be automatically paid to those that have already submitted an application and received a payment from the Fund.

All childminders will be contacted with details about the increase in award in the coming days and the extension to the closing date for those that have not already applied.