Seventy one per cent of early years settings who were able to welcome all children back from 1st  June are expected to run at a loss until September, according to a ‘snapshot survey’ conducted by the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA). A further 23% said they would break even and when asked about the coming months, 4% said that without further support they were likely to close permanently.

The results showed that the demand for places will not be as high as before the coronavirus crisis; with nurseries planning for an average of 35% of their usual numbers of children coming back straight away.

To welcome children back safely nurseries have implemented a range of new measures including comprehensive risk assessments, keeping children and staff to small groups inside settings, new infection control measures and dividing up spaces to allow children to play and learn freely within their smaller groups.

Over 80% of respondents said that originally, they were planning to re-open from 1st June but 14% said they now planned to open at a later date. A further 4% would only be looking after critical worker children or have already closed their doors altogether.

NDNA Chief Executive, Purnima Tanuku OBE said: “A huge amount of work has gone into preparations for nurseries to operate safely and welcome more children from this week. Some really innovative ideas and solutions have been put in place to minimise any risks to children and staff.  It’s important that parents are re-assured that their children can have access to high quality learning opportunities in a safe environment.

“What we are seeing is nurseries and other childcare providers facing increased costs to make these changes and looking at much lower demand than usual for the coming weeks and months.

“It is clearly not sustainable to have almost three quarters of providers running at a loss and most of the rest only just breaking even. The tragedy is that some settings have not been able to re-open and 4% are looking at potential closure in the near future. If this continues more settings are bound to move from making a loss into considering closing as well”.

Read the full story from NDNA here.

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