On Wednesday the 27th of April from 3-5pm, the Northern Ireland Women’s Budget Group (NIWBG), alongside the Scottish Women’s Budget Group (SWBG), the Wales Women’s Budget Group (WWBG) and the UK Women’s Budget Group (UKWBG), will be hosting an online 4 Nations Assembly. The purpose of this event, similar to the previous Assembly held in November 2020, is to provide updates on the workings of each group and to find ways to facilitate greater collaboration and connections across the 4 nations. Additionally, there will be a particular focus on a proposed 4 nations childcare project, with opportunities for attendees to contribute to the development of said project.
The first half of the Assembly will feature updates from each Women’s Budget Group (WBG), provided by the respective Coordinators. Generally, this is the chance for members of the WBGs to hear about the policy contexts of other nations and the current actions being taken by other WBGs. It is also an opportunity to share best practice from other nations or to connect actions across the nations.
The focus of the second half of the Assembly will be on the 4 nations childcare project. The proposed project, which will be outlined in greater detail at the event, aims to provide robust economic data on the cost of providing universal childcare at the devolved and UK-wide level, and support collaboration of childcare advocacy groups across the 4 nations in the campaign for accessible, affordable and flexible childcare provisions. We would commission research to analyse how much investment would be needed from devolved governments and the UK Government to achieve this goal, which would help target and demystify conversations around funding for childcare at both levels of government. This could also open up conversations around spending and taxation priorities to expand childcare provisions in devolved nations.
Following the introduction of the project, the Coordinators will facilitate breakout rooms with representation from members across the 4 nations to discuss the project, to share best practice, to provide direction, and to develop strategic actions based on what they would like to see the project accomplish. Discussions from the breakout rooms will feed into the funding proposal for the project, as 4 nations collaboration is essential to the project.
The Assembly will end with a keynote address from Lucie Stephens, a member of the UKWBG’s Policy Advisory Group on childcare. She will address the key principles necessary for a childcare system and focus on 4 nations’ collaboration in relation to childcare advocacy.
If you are interested in attending the event, please contact the Coordinator of the NIWBG, Alexandra Brennan, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.