The 2018 Big Parenting Survey – Parenting NI


Since 1979, Parenting NI has been supporting parents across Northern Ireland. We have helped thousands of parents, grandparents, kinship carers and others in parenting roles with issues ranging from bedtimes to anti-social behaviour.  In this time, we have come to be the trusted voice of parents in Northern Ireland. We have helped to promote the importance and centrality of parents in policy relating to children, and we have worked hard to ensure that their voices were heard at the most crucial points over the last four decades. We have always been guided by parents, and acted for parents in our activities and are always seeking new and innovative to enhance our understanding of parent’s needs and concerns.

Hence, we are conducting our largest ever parent’s survey:

“The 2018 Big Parenting Survey”

This online survey will run from the 3rd of September until the 3rd of October 2018. We are calling upon as many individuals in parenting roles to give us their thoughts and views about being a parent in Northern Ireland today.

It doesn’t matter if you are a new parent, or if your children are grown.

It doesn’t matter if you are a kinship carer or a grandparent.

It doesn’t matter if you live in Belfast or Fermanagh.

It doesn’t matter if you have never accessed Parenting NI’s services.

If you are in a parenting role, we would ask that you please take a few minutes to fill in the survey, the link to which is here:

Parenting NI Survey

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.


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


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: