In the Spring of 2006 WSN was approached by CiNI to explore the establishment of an Early Years Strategic Alliance. Both Network organisations recognised that through joint partnership work our common concerns on early years and child care issues could be more effectively represented to Government and reflected as key priorities for the public policy agenda in NI.

The formation of the Alliance is a timely acknowledgement of the importance of the women’s sector and the child care sector jointly influencing the fundamental changes which are currently taking place in relation to responsibility for, and organisation of, early years services, which will be led by the Department of Education.

It is now more important than ever that the early years and child care sector is supported and resourced to sustain and further develop good practice to ensure positive outcomes for young children and their families.

One of our most recent collaborations with CiNI and EYSA has been in the drawing up of an Early Years Manifesto which was launched by Education Minister Caitríona Ruane in August 2007.