Nottingham City Council has announced a cash boost of £90,000 to help support critical workers with childcare over the Easter holidays.
The authority announced plans two weeks ago to help schools remain open for children whose parents were on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak, and now further support has been put in place for pre-school childcare providers.
The full amount of early-education funding for two, three and four-year-olds has been paid to all providers for the summer term 2020, based on their allocations for the spring term.
This has also been extended to cover the Easter holiday for pre-school children of key workers, following an investment of £90,000 by the Council.
Early-years childcare providers in Nottingham are attempting to stay open for eligible children but this may not be possible for all. Many would normally close during school holidays which means that they are unable to help critical workers who are currently saving lives and reducing demands on NHS and social care services.
The council has agreed to fund Private Voluntary and Independent (PVI) early years settings over Easter so that they can continue to provide childcare for vulnerable children and those of parents deemed key workers by the government.
The £90,000 of funding 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.
However, some providers have decided to close and the Council is urging all settings to get in touch before making a decision at this stage.
Councillor Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Early Years, Education and Employment at Nottingham City Council, said: “I’d again like to thank children, staff, parents and carers for their help and support during this difficult time. We understand how concerning it is for everyone, but especially for those parents and carers currently on the front line helping and supporting the rest of us.
“Of course, children should be kept at home where it is safe and possible to do so. But we need to make sure that key workers who are unable to do this can access support to make their home lives as easy as possible at this difficult time.
“This funding will hopefully prevent the closure of some early-years childcare and will allow critical workers to do their jobs, which will ultimately save lives.
“We’re working with providers to make sure we have enough childcare over the Easter holidays. Parents and carers who need advice can contact the council if they need help to find childcare.
“We fully recognise the efforts of our providers and the vital role they are playing to support key workers at this time. The council is very grateful for all of the additional work they are doing during this crisis.”