The Innovation Lab insight project into Childcare Early Years.


Parents, childcare providers, and government in Northern Ireland were attempting to develop a consensus-based approach to resolving many of the issues facing Early Years/Childcare. These were related to both capacity and affordability.

We set out to develop a co-designed approach that would deliver a strategy to take the issues forward on the basis of agreement between the key sectors involved. We sought to design on the basis of informing participants, seeking consensus, defining needs and establishing an Early Years/Childcare strategy that would act as a strategic driver to lead the resolution of Early years/Childcare issues within Northern Ireland.

What did we do?

We designed and delivered an Insights Programme that included a range of facilitated Lab events that brought parents, providers, and the public sector together virtually to consider, discuss and define options and solutions that defined the challenge, considered the barriers, gaps and enablers and developed solutions and recommendations which formed the basis of the agreed Strategy.

What was the outcome?

The independent, professional design and delivery service that the iLab provided to the Client allowed for the progression of the Strategy and ensured there was buy-in from users and providers. We identified and delivered consensus-based solutions to the pressures and issues facing Early Years/Childcare in NI and ensured that recommendations were targeted, relevant and allowed the Dept. to progress the issue on behalf of the NI Executive.

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