Prior to lockdown, Charlotte Greaves from Hatfield Peveral looked after a total of 40 children. Overnight that dropped to 2 children of key workers.

A normal Monday would usually see 20 children at her setting but on the first day of being fully open to her families, only 5 children came through the door.

Her income is about 10% of what it was before the restrictions were put in place. Without the Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme, she would have really struggled financially.

Charlotte’s worried what will happen after that final grant in August though. WIth parents furloughed until October, some losing their jobs and others too scared to send their children back, she wonders how much business will actually pick up again

In an ideal world everything will go back to normal in September and we’ll all be back up to full income but if we’re not, it’s going to have another massive effect on us. It is a worry what’s going to happen once that pot runs out. A lot of people might lose their jobs and we might end up being a permanently small setting again.

Charlotte Greaves, childminder

The current advice is for children to attend just one setting so childminders are also losing business by not being able to care for children after school.

They’ve also had to make big changes to their settings to make them as safe as possible.

They’ve removed soft furnishings like cushions and rugs and any soft toys. Children have to wash their hands frequently and they’re also being advised to keep them out in the garden as much as possible.

Childminder Charlotte Greaves has seen her income drop by 90 percent since the start of lockdown Credit: ITV News Anglia

It’s quite a big thing for us to open our doors and actually let them into our house because we don’t really know what we’re letting in. Any toys that we’ve got out are easily wipeable. Books I’m only putting a handful out and then I’ll put them away and they can quarantine for 72 hours and I’ll get a fresh batch out each day and give them a wipe down with disinfectant. They’ve not got everything out that they’d normally have access to.

Charlotte Greaves