Coronavirus: PACEY urges Government to step up support for childminders
Monday, March 23, 2020
PACEY has joined in the call for more action from the Government to save childminding settings from permanently shutting.
The Professional Association of Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) wants the Government to help:
- The 41,000 self-employed registered childminders in England Wales who are not eligible for the majority of financial support for businesses announced to date.
- The nearly 28,000 childcare on non-domestic premises who may be eligible for business support, but who need help now, not in a month’s time as their business doesn’t have the cash flow to keep them afloat under Government support is accessible.
PACEY is also launching a COVID-19 closure survey to demonstrate the impact of the forced closures across England and Wales. Childminders and other childcare providers are being urged to answer a few questions this week. The association will use the answers 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.
Chief executive Liz Bayram 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.’
She added, ‘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.’
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 said, ‘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. 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