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Childcare is infrastructure - investment is essential
The Executive has plenty on its plate but now is the time to look at childcare in Northern Ireland.
Reductive politics is on collision course with reality
It wasn’t just election week, it was Brexit election week. Or was it? And what about the Stormont talks? Voters are more subtle than politicians and we stand at a policy crossroads. Without fixes there could be enormous public anger.
How is NI performing? (part three)
Our third and final article looking at how our public sector is doing, by its own measure.
How is NI performing? (Part two)
The second in our trio of articles taking an accessible look at how our public sector is doing, by its own measure.
How is Northern Ireland performing? (part one)
The Executive Office recently published its year-end report looking at progress against outcomes in the draft Programme for Government. Scope takes a look at the bottom line.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Improving mental health outcomes will tell us a lot about society
This could prove to be a good week for mental health provision in Northern Ireland. Maybe. Not just because of more money for services - the City Deal could help, too. And it might have to.
Behind the numbers: jobs in our changing economy are at the mercy of powerful, competing forces
Industry leaders are optimistic about the potential for automation, predicting it will create more jobs in the next few years than the tens of millions it will displace. Is this optimism meaningful?