The Childcare Partnerships were first established in April 2000 as a result of the Northern Ireland Childcare Strategy, “Children First” (1999).
A series of measures were established to help implement the strategy. These measures were intended to:
Policy responsible for ‘Early Years’ including the Childcare Partnerships transferred from DHSSPS to Department of Education (DE) in November 2006. The four former legacy Health and Social Care Boards continued to provide a lead to the Childcare Partnerships with arrangements and budgets confirmed on an annual basis.
In April 2011 there was a re-alignment of function and funding with the responsibility of Sure Start remaining with DE and responsibility for Childcare Partnerships, Childminding and childcare transferring back to Department of Health.
There are now five Childcare Partnerships situated in each of the five Health and Social Care Trust areas, see links above for further information.
The work of the Partnership includes the management of a range of early years funding streams including.