‘Childcare money must get to communities’ – Bradley

Newry Times News Posted by
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

SDLP finance spokesperson Dominic Bradley has voiced his concern that, to date, not one penny of the £12m set aside in the budget for the childcare strategy has been spent in this Assembly mandate.

The Newry and Armagh MLA made the comments after Department of Finance officials appeared at the Finance Committee this week to give a briefing on the minister’s October monitoring statement.

Speaking to Newry Times, he said: “I’m extremely disappointed that money which should be supporting parents to stay in the labour market and those who want to return is still sitting in the coffer of the Finance Department.

“Almost two years after this finance was announced there’s still no childcare strategy in place. Many childcare providers, especially those in the voluntary community sector have had to curtail activity due to the dearth of funding.

Bradley added, “It’s imperative that OFMDFM get its act together and publish the final strategy and the funding programme which will support it. If action isn’t taken some providers may have to close their doors.”

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