Northern Ireland Childcare Survey – share your views to shape childcare policy
Employers For Childcare’s annual Northern Ireland Childcare Survey is now open and we are calling on all parents and childcare providers in Northern Ireland to ensure their voice is heard at this vital time, when childcare is featuring prominently on the political agenda, options are being considered and important decisions made.
What is the Northern Ireland Childcare Survey?
Employers For Childcare has conducted this survey since 2010 to explore the experiences of parents and childcare providers here. It is the most extensive survey of its kind in Northern Ireland and this survey is the 11th in the series.
How are the results used?
The findings are widely used to inform political debates and policy development in relation to childcare and to provide the basis for much of our lobbying activities to ensure that the voices of parents and providers are heard when policy decisions are being made. The findings have been referenced in several debates at the Northern Ireland Assembly and are used to call for greater strategic social and economic investment and for a Childcare Strategy to be introduced.
Most recently, our research was used to inform a motion that was passed by the Assembly on introducing a Childcare Strategy and provision for 30 hours free childcare for 38 weeks a year for 3 to 4 year olds.
What kind of information is collected?
The survey aims to explore issues in relation to the affordability, accessibility and quality of childcare across Northern Ireland, and charts changes in the cost for different types of provision (e.g. day nurseries, childminders and out of school provision) and in different areas. It also explores the experiences of parents using and paying for childcare and how the ability to access childcare impacts on employment.
Childcare providers are asked about their long-term financial sustainability, their economic outlook and any challenges they may experience in providing childcare.
Last year, some of our key findings included:
The average cost of a full-time childcare place is £166 per week
87% of parents think the quality of childcare provision is good or very good
Half of respondents with school age children reported an increase in childcare costs during the school holidays
Half of respondents have had to cut back or go without another expense in order to pay for childcare
For over one third of families, childcare is their highest monthly outgoing, ahead even of their mortgage or rent
A third of childcare providers anticipated that their economic situation would get worse in the coming year.
How you can take part and ensure your experience is shaping childcare policy in Northern Ireland!
Parents: To share your experience of using childcare, and to be in with a chance to win an overnight stay at the luxury Galgorm Resort & Spa in a two bedroom cottage, with breakfast and access to the Thermal Spa Village:
Click here to complete the Parent survey
Childcare providers: To share your experience of delivering quality childcare, and to be in with a chance to win a £100 Boots voucher:
Click here to complete the Childcare provider survey
Thank you very much for your time!