£12m boost for Northern Ireland childcare welcomed
The body which represents childminders in NI has welcomed the executive's decision to provide £12m for childcare funding over the next four years.
The money is for a new childcare strategy, which includes a start-up package for childminders.
Bridget Nodder, who is director of NICMA, the childminding association said the provision was a welcome boost.
She added: "Above all, what it says is that childminding is valued in society and valued by the economy."
"It helps to underpin economic activity, it's valuable for families so that they can manage their work-life balance responsibilities by having access to affordable childcare.
"And it's very beneficial for children as well, in that they can then access a home-based, warm, loving, nurturing environment."