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Employers for Childcare publishes annual childcare report
The need to restructure childcare in Northern Ireland has long been ignored. But the campaign for change is building momentum.
Re-defining rubbish - the Circular Economy
It’s good that so many people are becoming more conscious about single use plastics. It’s even better that the environment has catapulted up the political agenda.
What can’t we afford? How economic inequality is about more than paying bills
If wealth, rather than ability, drives educational achievement, we have to think hard about how we structure society to compensate for this.
Community economies: the quiet revolution
One of the more troubling trends in recent times is that whilst the economy is growing most of us are getting poorer.
If you want to improve the benefits system, speak up
The IFS says Universal Credit will lower the incomes of millions of people and that the welfare reform “hits the persistently poor the hardest on average.” But change is possible.
The first major effort at citizen’s income has some surprises
Preliminary results are in from Finland’s experiment with a Universal Basic Income. The findings are mixed, interesting, and should arouse everyone’s curiosity.
Childcare in NI: parents and providers are both working too hard
Northern Ireland is the UK’s poor cousin when it comes to childcare. Fixes to the sector’s struggling financial structure need legislation.
Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit
The great political divide of our time – ahead of the traditional left vs right, and even existential concerns about the environment – is about globalisation vs nationalism.
Some good news, at last
There has been one piece of very good news for Northern Ireland in an otherwise gloomy, Brexit dominated week.
Back to the drawing board for sustainable transport to school
Efforts are underway to change transport habits in Northern Ireland – but they might not be working. Scope looks at the annual school transport figures.
Employability programmes can transform lives and communities
The European Social Fund has committed £200m to NI for employability schemes – including Start360’s Switch onto Employment. The organisation tells Scope that ESF’s post-Brexit replacement cannot be half hearted.
Childcare provision is good but there are problems with affordability and sustainability
Last month, Employers for Childcare released their ninth annual NI Childcare Cost Survey. The burden on families is enormous - but providers are also under huge strain. Reform (financial assistance and restructuring) is required.
Quality of life is easy to understand but difficult to pin down
Reform is possible in NI, even without a government. Officials last week published a paper seeking to understand what is meant by “quality of life” – with the ultimate aim of improving the lot of adults and children with disabilities.
How NI relies on Europe for employability schemes
The European Social Fund represents a small amount of EU money – but supports a huge proportion of the schemes in its sector. Westminster’s delay on developing a replacement is worrying.