Urgent…last chance to #SaveChildcareVouchers

 

There are now just three weeks to go until Childcare Vouchers, which can save working families up to £1,866 per year on childcare costs, close to new entrants on 4 October 2018. This will leave thousands of working families worse off and could result in some parents being unable to access, or remain in, work. People power gained a six-month reprieve for the scheme back in March, now parents are being urged to lobby their MP to keep the scheme open permanently.

 

Any parents wishing to join the scheme need to check what the payroll cut-off date is with their own employer – it may already be too late!

 

This could be your last chance to join hundreds of thousands of parents, and hundreds of employers across the UK, in supporting the campaign to #SaveChildcareVouchers.

 

It would be great if you could do one of the following, and share this message with your contacts via your newsletters / social media networks:

  • Share this campaign with your networks and on social media: Encourage your friends and colleagues to write to their MP, and use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to demonstrate your support for the #SaveChildcareVouchers campaign. Follow this link to send your MP a message on social media.
  • Contact your local MP: Put pressure on the Government to keep Childcare Vouchers open – it’s free, easy to do, and takes less than five minutes. Just visit www.theyworkforyou.com, enter your postcode to find out who represents you, and click on the green “Send a message” button to contact them.
  • Employers can sign the business pledge to #SaveChildcareVouchers. Email cvpa@wacomms.co.uk with the name of your business and the number of your employees. Almost 250 employers representing over 130,000 employees have already backed the campaign. (The name of your business will not be shared publicly unless you give permission).
  • Share your story with the campaign: If the changes are going to impact you and you’d be willing to share your experience, get in touch by emailing hello@employersforchildcare.org with your story. Read here about some of the parents who have already contacted us.

Here’s some links to our recent Facebook and Twitter posts on the campaign:

 

https://www.facebook.com/employersforchildcare/photos/a.187185828029682/1821074274640821/?type=3&theater

 

https://twitter.com/EFCCG/status/1039531565880172544

 

We are already hearing from upset and worried parents no longer able to register. These parents have either missed their September payroll cut-off date, their first born is due after 4 October or they are existing users but in the process of changing jobs and will be excluded from joining the Scheme with their new employer.

 

Full details on the lobbying campaign to #SaveChildcareVouchers are available on the Employers For Childcare website. We hope everyone will get behind this campaign – we truly believe ALL children and parents should be able to benefit from affordable, accessible childcare.

 

 

Groups apply for up to £1,000 in Funding

 

Power NI Brighter Communities was founded in 2018 to support groups across the country to be to the best they can be.

Apply for up to £1,000 in funding to help your group reach its maximum potential – whether that is for equipment, kits or for a special project that will make a BIG impact!

Applications from small or large community, sporting, charity, youth and all age groups who can propose a tangible project, activity or item which can be realised or executed once the funds have been received and within an 8-week timescale.

https://powerni.co.uk/brightercommunities/

 

Play Matters – Playing Outdoors

 

Playing Outdoors is critically important for children of any age and we encourage you to read the second Play Matters briefing paper which focuses on just that! Children growing up today are experiencing decreasing opportunities to play independently outdoors and this paper explores the reasons why, considers the benefits of playing outdoors for children and offers some simple thoughts and suggestions to helping encourage outdoor play.

 

You can view the Playing Outdoors briefing on the Department of Education’s website at https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/education/Playing%20Outdoors.pdf

 

Employers for Childcare Annual Childcare Cost Survey – Have your say

 

Employers for Childcare have just launched their ninth Annual Childcare Cost Survey and would be grateful for input from parents, guardians and childcare providers.

 

The survey explores the cost and provision of childcare and how this impacts on families but also the cost and provision of childcare from the perspective of childcare providers. It is the most extensive study of its kind in Northern Ireland and is widely used to inform political debates and policy development in relation to the affordability of childcare, and service delivery – and we hope will continue to be useful to the work of the Childcare For All campaign moving forward.

 

Last year’s results showed the average weekly cost of a full-time childcare place was £168, almost 40% of average household income.  Yet at the same time, while 59% of childcare providers reported they were just breaking even or making a loss, the majority (77%) had chosen not to increase their fees.  This it is anticipated the survey will emphasise how essential the childcare infrastructure is to parents here whilst highlighting how the ongoing strain of rising living costs such as food, clothing and heating, coupled with the cost of childcare, can impact negatively on families. This year, Employers for Childcare are also interested in finding out more about the experiences of families who rely on grandparents to provide childcare.

 

The survey can be found here – : www.employersforchildcare.org/news-item/share-your-experience-of-childcare-in-northern-ireland/

 

You can also find it on twitter and facebook: