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Education Minister Michelle McIlveen announces further extension to two Covid-19 childcare support funds

A further extension to two Covid-19 childcare support funds has been announced

EDUCATION minister Michelle McIveen has announced a further extension to two Covid-19 childcare support funds.

She said the additional support "recognises the vital role that childcare providers play in supporting the economy and supporting families".

The extended measures include a third phase of the Childcare Sustainability Fund and the Childcare Covid-19 Temporary Closure Fund.

Applications open today with eligible daycare, school-aged childcare settings, childminders, crèches and playgroups able to apply.

Ms McIlveen said the support was being made available to the childcare sector "as we continue to emerge from the pandemic".

"These schemes will supplement approximately £30 million of emergency funding which has already been provided to the childcare sector up to March 2021," she said.

"The Covid-19 Childcare Sustainability Fund will provide vital financial support for eligible registered childcare providers who are continuing to incur additional costs while operating within Covid-19 guidance and a reduced demand for services during this recovery phase.

"While the closure of childcare providers remains very low, the Childcare Covid-19 Temporary Closure Fund will minimise the financial impact on childcare providers who have been forced to temporarily suspend their services due to a Covid related incident within their provision."

The Temporary Closure Fund will also support parents, as funding is only available to those childcare providers that do not charge parents while their provision is temporarily suspended due to Covid-19 cases.

Ms McIlveen added: "The continuation of this funding during these final stages of recovery and easing of restrictions, recognises the vital role that childcare providers play in supporting the economy and supporting families."

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