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

  • Click below to watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Victoria Lampard

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.

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
This nursery in Wymondham is also finding it financially difficult. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Mulberry Bush day nursery in Wymondham in Norfolk is also finding it tough to stay open, despite wanting to help those who need them.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We have already confirmed that we will continue to fund councils for the free childcare entitlements for the duration of these closures, as we ask settings to remain open where needed for children of critical workers and most vulnerable.

To support them with this we are relieving some of the burdens on staff during these challenging times, temporarily changing some of the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and providing significant financial support, including a business rate holiday for many private providers. We have set out further clarity on other support available, including eligibility for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where an employer receives government funding.