Childcare services see fewer children returning for new term
- Credit: Archant
A manager at a childcare service has described its situation as ‘nerve-racking’ as they see a drop in the number of children returning following the Christmas break.
Fakenham children's daycare centre on Field Lane, care for 63 children every day. They were expecting 25 on Monday, but said only 15 arrived.
Early years teacher and assistant manager Katie Stephens said a handful of parents are not sending their children for the whole month, while others have said they won’t send them back until after Easter.
Miss Stephens said the centre is not getting the advice it needs and it is making their next move difficult.
“When we had the lockdown we were forced to close, so the decision was taken out of our hands and we were supported,” she said.
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“Now the decision is up to us, we have to choose to close, but if we do then we won't have any financial support and it will be tough.
“It is a challenging time for us, It is nerve-racking.
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“We will always want to do what is right for the children but if we chose to close then that will be the end, game over, without any support."
Miss Stephens said they all want to carry on working to help the country.
“It is so difficult as we want to do our bit and support the economy so that parents can work and safeguard their children,” she said.
"We are disappointed as a private setting, we are not provided with rapid testing, which would give some reassurance to our practitioners and enable them to keep working."
Blossoms Childcare in Fakenham has also seen a reduction in children, as six fewer came back following the Christmas break.
Director and owner of Blossoms, Katie Gilkes said they are doing all they can.
She said: “The staff are following the guidance, toys are being cleaned, temperatures are being taken, toys are being rotated, it is stressful and scary. But, we couldn't do any more to make it much safer.
“It feels like going round in a circle and we are back to square one."