Nurseries call for more financial support to care for key workers’ children.

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Nurseries across the region say they’re struggling to cover their costs while staying open to care for the children of key workers.
With fewer parents paying fees, many places say they’re running at a huge financial loss and need more support.

Omnipresence Nursery School in Northampton wanted to remain open to help during the crisis but the owner says the lack of financial support from the government means they will have to close their doors on Friday.


“We wanted to do our bit for the NHS and the frontline key workers. We wanted to provide that care for them so they had childcare while they went to work. If we get ill, if my staff get ill, if you get ill, the NHS are going to take care of us. Now if we’re not open where is their childcare going to be. How are they going to cover that childcare?”


– Dawnlouise Young Owner, Omnipresence Nursery School
Many nurseries say they’re struggling financially. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Early years providers were originally told by the government that they could access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and also continue to receive local authority funding for the free childcare they usually provide.


Many like Omnipresence nursery have already furloughed staff but now they’ve been told there are conditions to accessing furlough funding.


Credit: ITV News Anglia

“If you receive 40% of your income from public money basically and 60% from fee income you can only effectively furlough staff on the proportion of the fee income. This is disastrous. This is not what was promised and this is a complete slap in the face for the sector.


Before this happened we already had a shortfall in terms of this government’s so-called free entitlement offer of over three quarters of a billion pounds. We were already vulnerable. This has just worsened the position.”


– Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance