30/09/2003

Employers’ role in childcare support 'crucial' says Beggs

The crucial role employer's play in supporting childcare provision for the workforce should not be underestimated, former East Antrim UUP MLA Roy Beggs said today.

He was speaking at the Employers for Childcare seminar at Stormont where he underlined the UUP’s support for the work of the group in highlighting international best practice in the provision of affordable childcare facilities and in improving local childcare options for parents.

Mr Beggs said: “The Employers for Childcare aim of 'enabling working parents to freely participate in the labour market by encouraging employers to implement sound childcare practice' is one that will create additional options for parents and which would enable parents, employers and the local economy to benefit.

“We would also urge employers to examine how they can assist with other schemes such as holiday childcare, after schools clubs etc to meet the needs of their workforce. Local partnerships may well have to be established to enable such projects to be sustainable and affordable."

With employee and employer childcare voucher schemes also available, Mr Beggs said he would encourage all employers to carefully examine the ‘Employers for Childcare’ voucher schemes and to adopt one that best suits their situation.

“Happy and contented children enable parents to focus on their job and so be more productive in the workplace so the who area of employment and childcare cannot be underestimated.

“Furthermore we would urge government departments and agencies to demonstrate their support for childcare schemes by example," he concluded.

(MB)

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