Today, as tens of thousands of childcare providers close their doors for an indefinite period of time due to Covid-19, PACEY is calling for urgent government action to save these vital childcare settings from permanent shutdown.
It has launched a survey, which includes a few vital questions, and is urging childminders to respond this week.
PACEY says it will use the survey results to demonstrate to government how many settings fear that temporary closure of their service to families, is likely to lead to permanent closure in six months to a year’s time.
Government needs to help:
- 41,000 self-employed registered childminders in England and Wales who are not eligible for the majority of financial support for businesses announced to date.
- Just under 28,000 childcare on non-domestic premises who may be eligible for government business support but need that help today, not in a month’s time, as their business doesn’t have the cash flow to keep them afloat until government support is accessible.
Liz Bayram, PACEY Chief Executive said: ‘We know government advice to close has been necessary to help slow the spread of coronavirus. We are urging every childcare provider to follow government guidance. But, we all have to recognise this will have a devastating impact on the long term sustainability of so many early years and childcare settings, services that families rely on, services that have been underfunded for many years.
Of upmost urgency right now is support for the 41,000 registered childminders in England and Wales. Most do not qualify for the current government support available to business. They are self-employed sole traders; most do not deliver early education places so will not continue to receive that funding. Most are on low incomes, many are single parents and, as of today, can only look to the benefit system for support.
‘PACEY shares government’s priority to support the childcare providers to survive the impact of Coronavirus and the closures it is forcing on so many of their businesses. More has to be done to understand the long-term impact and the support all childcare providers will need, especially childminders, so that there is a strong early years and childcare sector that families can rely on when we are all able to return to our normal working lives.’
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Jane Comeau is just one of the thousands of childminders who has closed their doors indefinitely. A childminder for 25 years, Jane is scared for her future, but also for the future of the childminding profession.
She says: ‘I am devastated, I have no key worker children at my setting, so I have been forced to close. Some of the children I care for I will never see again, and add to the emotional impact, the financial implications are huge. My partner is working, so I am not entitled to any financial support, not even Universal Credit. At my lowest points, I worry that my career could be over, if my current families don’t return for whatever reason, I am not sure I would have the energy to build up my business again and I fear this may be the same for many others.’
Childcare providers can take part in the survey here …. PACEY is urging providers to complete it as soon as they can.