Regional Small Grants Scheme 2018-19 “Supporting the Inclusion of Children with a Disability in Early Years/Childcare Settings”

Dear Colleague,

For parents of children with a disability, finding appropriate childcare can be challenging. In order to address this issue, the Childcare Partnerships are now calling for applications to a regional small grants scheme which will provide funding to facilitate the inclusion of children with a disability in early years or childcare services.

Funding for this initiative has been provided by the Department of Health.

Applicants can reflect the need to provide this additional service from 3rd September 2018 up to the end of the academic year i.e. June 2019.

Please find attached the associated guidance notes and application form. Please ensure you have read the guidance notes before completing and submitting the application form.

The closing date for applications is 4pm Monday 4th June 2018.  (Please return the application form by post or email).

Late applications will not be considered.

Click to download:


Please feel free to contact Kirstein Arbuckle or Claire Greer if you require any assistance.

Email or



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 – :


You can also find it on twitter and facebook:



Presentations from Northern Childcare Partnership 14th March 2018









Sure Start Celebrating the Importance of the Early Years

The Childcare Partnerships within the Health & Social Care Board and the Department of Education jointly hosted a Sure Start event on the 25th January 2018 in Belfast City Hall, to celebrate the Importance of the Early Years for children and families across Northern Ireland.   The event brought together 180 professionals from a range of statutory, voluntary, community organisations and elected representatives to celebrate the work of Sure Start and to launch the findings of a Sure Start Parental Survey.


Click to download Press Release.


Click to download the Sure Start Parental Survey 2017.


Click to download the Sure Start Booklet 2017.