Northern Ireland news

Childminders given additional £300 in Covid-19 funding help

Many childminders have had reduced numbers due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Rebecca Black, PA

An additional £300 has been awarded to childminders under a Covid-19 fund.

Education Minister Peter Weir announced the increase in the award from the Childcare Recovery Support Fund, which ran from July to August.

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

The increase was 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 October 2 to enable those that have not already applied to do so.

Mr Weir said the move will provide the costs to childminders 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," he said.

"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.

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