News

Council backs campaign calling for improved childcare provision for citizens

Friday 6 July 2018

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has given its support to a charter calling for universal, child-centred childcare.

Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Councillor Cheryl Johnston with daughter Brooke

The Childcare For All campaign is aimed at ensuring the needs of children, families, childcare workers and providers are met.

Created by a network of organisations, the Childcare For All Charter sets out a vision of a childcare system that is affordable, accessible, flexible, high quality, and which supports children’s education and development.

Those behind the campaign also want to see the value of childcare work recognised with improved pay and terms and conditions.

Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Councillor Cheryl Johnston brought a motion to this week’s monthly meeting of the council, stating that the local government authority gives its backing to the charter.

The motion, seconded by Councillor William McCaughey, read: “That this council supports the Childcare For All Charter, which aims to have universal, child-centred childcare that meets the needs of children, families, childcare workers and providers and benefits society.

“We want to see a childcare system that is affordable, accessible, flexible, high quality and which supports children’s education and development.”

The adoption of the motion was agreed by elected members.

Councillor Johnston, who has a six-year-old daughter, Brooke, said: “This issue can affect all parents and carers in our borough.

“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is reflective of these experiences with our very own chief executive, who is also a mother and has successfully broken through the barriers mentioned, successfully with a lot of grit and determination.

“I too, fully understand the barriers, limitations, additional pressure and cost as a main carer and the constrictions this can place on career development.

“Also, the very much real choice between working or not due to the cost of childcare.

“This motion is aimed at supporting the Childcare Charter, building momentum of their campaign and as councillors and staff highlighting our experiences and those of our constituents in regards to childcare.”

The launch of the Charter took place on Tuesday 1 May 2018 at Stormont, and Employers For Childcare, along with the WRDA (Women’s Research and Development Agency) and the other members of the network, supported the event. 

For more information visit the Employers for Childcare website.

Photograph: Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Councillor Cheryl Johnston with daughter Brooke