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Coronavirus: Northern Ireland faces black market in childcare as minders struggle with lack of clarity and financial help


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Many childminders in Northern Ireland have had to temporarily suspend business

Many childminders in Northern Ireland have had to temporarily suspend business

PA

Nicma chief executive Patricia Lewsley-Mooney

Nicma chief executive Patricia Lewsley-Mooney

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Many childminders in Northern Ireland have had to temporarily suspend business

A black market in childcare services could develop because of the confusion around people returning to work, which could put the safety of children at risk, the Northern Ireland Childminding Association (Nicma) has warned.

Nicma is concerned that hundreds of registered child-minding businesses will not survive the Covid-19 outbreak as they struggle financially without support, and that the safety of children could be put at risk.

Child-minders have seen their business disappear overnight, freeing the market for unregistered child-minders to step in to provide the service without the necessary safeguarding.


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