Home childcare initiative for key workers announced in Northern Ireland

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By Michael McHugh, PA

A home childcare initiative will meet the needs of key workers, Northern Ireland's health minister Robin Swann said.

It is intended to help people in the NHS have their children looked after at home as much as possible.

Youngsters will be temporarily matched with one daycare worker from the centre they currently attend.

The scheme will prioritise the needs of key workers with babies and toddlers.

Mr Swann said: "I have been very clear in my message that staying at home will save lives.

"I am very aware that key workers are faced with the challenges of juggling their essential business with looking after those most precious to them.

"This new scheme is intended to help key workers have their children looked after in their own home as much as possible."

It is open to those providing clinical care to coronavirus patients; health and social care workers supporting life-threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision; all the other health and social care workers; and wider public sector workers who provide critical services, the minister said.

He added: "Daycare providers have agreed to work with us to make that possible and I want to thank them for that.

"Parents should speak to their provider as quickly as possible to get the approval process under way."

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