More than 4 in 10 Scottish nurseries remain closed
Thursday, July 16, 2020
A significant proportion of nurseries did not reopen in Scotland on Wednesday even though they are now allowed to, NDNA Scotland has found.
A total of 44 per cent of settings have not yet reopened following lockdown. Only an estimated two fifths (40 per cent) of childcare places were filled in the nurseries that did reopen.
The snapshot survey of 91 out of 148 nursery sites across the country also found that:
- 74 per cent expect to operate at a loss for the coming three months.
- a fifth (20 per cent) expect to ‘just break even’ over the coming three months.
The requirements in response to the Covid-19 pandemic are making business less sustainable for nursery providers with the majority of respondents (86 per cent) saying that managing ‘bubbles’ of a maximum of eight children will impact on their staffing.
NDNA chief executive Purnima Tanuku said that the priority for providers is the safety and well-being of children and staff but warned that the viability of early years settings is being threatened.
‘Working with smaller cohorts or “bubbles” of a maximum of eight children is another measure that’s been introduced. However, many providers still have concerns about whether they can reopen even though they are allowed to and a major question is whether than can make these small groups work. Managing these bubbles of eight means that providers are working at staffing levels which cannot be sustained,’ said Ms Tanuku.
‘Initial feedback from our snapshot survey this week so far suggests that a massive 74 per cent will run at a loss over the coming three months with 20 per cent only able to break even. This situation is clearly not sustainable for childcare businesses and could leave parents without places in the future if providers are forced to close.’