Response to the survey launched last weekend by the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) is continuing to gather pace.
It asks whether settings are closing and what their greatest fears are. With almost 6,000 responses, PACEY chief executive Liz Bayram is using it to work with the Government to come up with a solution to help childminders – as part of the self-employed workforce – across the UK.
Today, during a sitting in the House of Commons, Chancellor Rishi Sunak addressed what is being done about this.
He said: ‘The fact is that the five million universe that we’re dealing with contains such a wide variety of different people where we don’t have the ability to target support – that’s the challenge that we have in designing something that gets to the people that we want it to help while at the same time being affordable, not having to benefit absolutely everybody.
‘That is proving to be problematic, but we are hard at work on it. In terms of delivery, it is almost certainly going to be the case that we would have to build another brand new system to deliver any support.
‘I think it’s right, and I’m sure honourable members on both sides of this house would agree, that in terms of prioritising system design, the scheme we have set up for 90 per cent of the workforce that is employed should be delivered first and quickly, and that is what we have committed to do, ideally by the end of April.’
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Liz Bayram said: ‘We are delighted to hear that the Chancellor is looking at how to support self-employed individuals including the tens of thousands of registered childminders who have had to close their childcare settings this week with only the benefits system to rely on.
‘Many of them are on very low incomes, some are single parents. We need to give them a lifeline that not only supports them though this pandemic but enables them to re-establish their businesses and provide the much needed childcare that families will rely on when we come through this crisis.”
PACEY says it will continue to work actively with government to make sure this happens as well, as ensuring wider support to all registered childcare providers in these challenging times.
It will be sharing the results with Department for Education and HMT later this week. Respond to the survey here