PlayBoard NI, the lead organisation for the development of children and young people’s play in Northern Ireland, welcomes the support package available to School Aged Childcare providers through the Department of Education’s Childcare Sustainability Fund.

The Childcare Sustainability Fund aims to support the ongoing recovery and sustainability within the childcare sector and will assist with the additional costs of operating within Covid-19 guidance, and provide financial support to those operating with reduced demand for services.

Jacqueline O’Loughlin, Chief Executive, PlayBoard NI said, “We welcome today’s announcement launching the Childcare Sustainability Fund. We have been working diligently with Department officials and our sectoral colleagues to secure additional funding, and so are pleased to see this grant open for applications to aid recovery of the sector.

“This fund will provide a lifeline to key childcare services which are struggling financially during this challenging time. We recognise the huge efforts made by the sector to provide childcare services in very difficult circumstances, and we now encourage all eligible settings to apply when the fund opens tomorrow.”

The Childcare Sustainability Fund opens for applications online from Friday 4 December. Eligible providers can make an application if operational between 1 September 2020 and 31 December 2020, and will receive an email from Family Support NI (FSNI) on 4 December. The scheme is administered by Early Years on behalf of the Department of Education.

For information go to www.early-years.org/childcare-support-fund

The website includes details of upcoming support sessions taking place on:

  • Monday 7 December, 12:00pm or 6:00pm.
  • Tuesday 8 December, 12:00pm or 6:00pm.
  • Wednesday 9 December, 12:00pm or 6:00pm.

Applications will close on Friday 5 February 2021 at 5:00pm.

For further enquiries contact sustainability@early-years.org

Read the Department of Education’s announcement at www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/minister-announces-new-measures-support-childcare-providers