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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.
Human Rights in NI – sleepwalking towards disaster
The Human Rights Commission published its Annual Statement this week. We have plenty of problems, too few solutions, and the problems stemming from our lack of a government only ever grow in number.
Public transport is about access – we need to measure it that way
NI’s official annual transport statistics were refined earlier this year. However, from the public perspective, they do not tell us enough.
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.
Smacking children leads to a more violent society
In Northern Ireland, parents are still allowed to use corporal punishment as long as it is "reasonable chastisement". New research suggests this leads to more violence among young people than if it was banned outright.
How NI's education system still falls short on relationships and sex
More young people in the UK are contacting Childline because of issues around consent and peer sexual abuse. Here in NI, our ethos-driven schools system fails by design.
The Red Cross you might not know
As image concerns go, it's a bit different; the Red Cross is a world-famous organisation held in high esteem. However, most awareness concerns the work in the world's worst disaster zones. Their day to day is less spectacular but just as important.
Modern media and self esteem
More young people are calling Childline due to eating disorders. Media can affect self esteem - but while it is fair to ask for certain standards from providers, it is more important to prepare young people for life in the digital age.
A lifetime of Early Years
Siobhan Fitzpatrick CBE, CEO of Early Years - the organisation for young people, was awarded an honorary doctorate by QUB last week. Scope talks with her about four decades of pioneering child development.
Children in NI face plenty of problems (part two)
The second half of our look at NICCY’s Statement on Children’s Rights in NI focuses on safeguarding – including protections from child sexual exploitation and bullying, and fair treatment for those subject to immigration control.
Children in NI face plenty of problems (part one)
The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY) has just released a comprehensive report on the problems faced by local children right now. It deserves close attention.
Holiday hunger, and how it might be fixed
With most people feeling well stuffed after Christmas, it is a good time to look at those less fortunate, and how many children in NI rely on healthy lunches they get at school that then disappear over the holidays.
Making the Global Goals relevant for citizens
Scope talks with the Northern Ireland Environment Link about their plans to improve awareness and understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.