Bright Start – The Executive’s Programme for Affordable and Integrated Childcare


A Strategic Framework and Key First Actions

Bright Start – The Executive’s Programme for Affordable and Integrated Childcare (A Strategic Framework and Key First Actions) sets out the framework, principles and a range of key first actions to help deliver the Executive’s vision for childcare. It allows for further engagement to take place with key stakeholders to inform the final Childcare Strategy to be published in 2014.

Bright Start sets out the broad direction of travel for the Childcare Strategy and identifies 15 key first actions that will be put in place to address the main priorities identified during consultation and research.


Key First Actions

The key first actions will be critical initial steps towards the establishment of an improved and expanded system of childcare here.  The key first actions are:



School Age Childcare
  • Sustain and create 3000 places for school age childcare targeted at families in need.
  • Pilot a new approach to wrap around care in the schools estate to create a minimum of 2,000 places.
Rural Childcare
  • Support a rural childminder start up package creating an additional 1,000 places in rural areas.
  • Support locally based transport schemes in rural areas, servicing networks of childminders in rural locations.
  • Support up to 1,000 school age childcare places in rural areas through social enterprises.
Childcare for children with a disability
  • Fund two further phases of the DHSSPS led pilot – Improving Outcomes for Disabled Children.
Bright Start Childcare Better access to information on childcare and related financial support
  • Provide, online, a central source of information on childcare and childcare providers
  • Develop a social media application (app) to make information more readily available to parents
  • Promote the benefits of registered childcare
  • Promote awareness of the financial assistance available to parents
Workforce Development
  • Support a training programme to improve and enhance skills across the childcare workforce
  • Work with other programmes to ensure the good quality training of unemployed people as a pathway to work into childcare
  • Align and promote existing initiatives to enhance the skill base and support continuing professional development in the childcare sector
  • Support initiatives to encourage greater diversity in the childcare workforce
Establish a Childcare Management Forum
  • Establish a Childcare Management Forum that will meet quarterly to scrutinise and review how the key first actions are being implemented