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Council supports critical workers with childcare investment

Posted onPosted on 1st Apr

Schools and all childcare providers in Nottinghamshire are being asked to continue to provide care for children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to fighting the coronavirus response and who cannot be safely cared for at home – even over the Easter holidays.

While as many early years childcare providers as possible are trying to stay open for eligible children, this is not possible for all settings. Many childcare providers tend to close during school holidays, which means that they are unable to help Nottinghamshire’s critical workers who could ultimately save lives and reduce demands on NHS and social care services.

Nottinghamshire County Council has agreed to fund Private Voluntary and Independent (PVI) early years settings during the Easter holidays so that they can continue to provide childcare for vulnerable children and children of parents who are deemed as critical by the government.

The £300,000 funding from the council will be allocated to Ofsted registered settings to continue to provide free childcare for critical workers who currently access a funded place for their child to help childcare providers stay open over Easter and provide this important childcare.

Some providers have decided to close, however, the council is urging all settings to get in touch before making a decision at this stage.

The Council is trying to ensure that the financial support can help settings to stay open, while limiting the places offered to only the most vulnerable children and those of critical workers.

Coun Philip Owen, chair of the Children and Young People’s Committee, said: “Children should be kept at home wherever it is possible and safe to do so. Critical workers who are unable to do this can and should be able to access childcare and we don’t want a lack of funding to get in the way.

“The need to support critical workers and vulnerable children during the Coronavirus pandemic is paramount to prevent loss of life and to ease the burden on critical services such as the NHS and social care. By providing this funding we are preventing the closure of some early years childcare and enabling critical workers to do their jobs which will ultimately save lives.

“Access to childcare can be a barrier for some critical workers, so it is important for us to do what we can to remove these barriers, especially for children who would have normally received funded childcare.

“We are working with early years providers to make sure we have enough childcare during the holidays. Parents and carers who need advice can contact the council if they need help to find childcare. “

“The local early years sector is doing a fantastic job and it is crucial that providers are able to carry on with their important work at this time. The council is very grateful for all of the additional work they are doing during this crisis.”

Information for parents about childcare closures can be found here

•Parents who need advice and support can email or call 0300 500 80 80

•Information for Early Years Childcare providers