Sinn Féin Councillor Aileen Mellon has said financial support for childcare is vital if mothers are to secure their right to work.
“The provision of childcare is fundamental to addressing inequalities in the labour market. When it comes to the right to work, women have fought long and hard to overcome discrimination and reduce the gender gap.
“But what gains have been made could be swept aside unless we support working mothers by sustaining their access to childcare.
“Among working mothers, those facing the most disadvantage, are more likely to rely on childminders and the voluntary and community sector, the providers most at risk of losing their businesses because of the economic impact of Covid-19.
“In administering his childcare recovery plan, Minister Weir, must meet his equality obligations and protect access to childcare for working mothers, particularly the most disadvantaged.”