Sinn Féin Councillor Aileen Mellon has said childcare providers deliver an essential service and should be financially supported.
She said:“The COVID19 crisis has highlighted how vital our childcare sector is in relation to early education, economically and in ensuring parents can access work.
“Unfortunately, due to little financial support or guidance, many have closed their doors, resulting in many keyworkers not yet having access to the Approved Childcare Scheme.
“With many settings having to close keyworker parents have been are unable to find childcare as their children are too young to attend school or the length of the school day is shorter than their shift at work.
“Childcare providers are the back bone of our society when it comes to early education and care for our youngest citizens and they should be supported financially.
“I welcome comments by the Education Minister that a support package for childcare providers is being looked at.”