Give UK nurseries emergency funding if they have to close down amid COVID-19

If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.

This petition closed on 18 Sep 2020 with 106,128 signatures


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Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Give UK nurseries emergency funding if they have to close down amid COVID-19

1. Early Years Settings: Covid-19
12/01/2021 - Westminster Hall

1: That this House has considered the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on early years settings.It is a pleasure - Speech Link

2. Nurseries and Early Years Settings
03/12/2020 - Westminster Hall

1: Committee, The impact of Covid-19 on maternity and parental leave, HC 526; and the Government response, HC 770 - Speech Link
2: practice to support the new call list system and to ensure that social distancing is respected. Hon. Members - Speech Link
3: That this House has considered the future of nurseries and early years settings.I thank the Backbench - Speech Link

3. Oral Answers to Questions
29/04/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: vaccines play in protecting us against disease. The UK is today committing new support to Gavi, the Vaccine - Speech Link
2: That is why the UK is leading the international response and providing £744 million of UK aid to counter - Speech Link
3: protective equipment and medical equipment and ensure that there is not a worldwide shortage that prices - Speech Link

4. Oral Answers to Questions
18/01/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: are replacing the European social fund via the UK shared prosperity fund and introducing the new Turing - Speech Link
2: contributed £1.2 billion to the UK economy annually, boosting the profile of UK universities globally and helping - Speech Link
3: China or whether in Australia and so many other places. That is what we are going to be giving young people - Speech Link

5. Oral Answers to Questions
05/05/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: home while nurseries, schools and colleges are partially closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak. - Speech Link
2: home while nurseries, schools and colleges are partially closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak. - Speech Link
3: home while nurseries, schools and colleges are partially closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak. - Speech Link
4: home while nurseries, schools and colleges are partially closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak. - Speech Link
5: home while nurseries, schools and colleges are partially closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak. - Speech Link
6: home while nurseries, schools and colleges are partially closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak. - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Give UK nurseries emergency funding if they have to close down amid COVID-19
1. Nurseries: Covid-19 Education Catch-up Fund
asked by: Ian Lavery
16/09/2020
... whether maintained nurseries are able to access Catch Up Grant funding.

2. Covid-19 Hardship Fund
asked by: Yvonne Fovargue
09/11/2020
... how much of the £500 million allocated from the Hardship Fund was spent in England and Wales between March and October 2020.

3. Covid-19 Hardship Fund
asked by: Yvonne Fovargue
16/11/2020
... how much of the Hardship Fund allocated to local authorities was spent between March and October 2020; and what proportion of that fund was spent over that time period.

4. Covid-19 Hardship Fund
asked by: Neil Coyle
24/03/2020
... what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Hardship Fund announced in Budget 2020; and how the effectiveness of the Hardship Fund will be measured.

5. Covid-19 Hardship Fund
asked by: Judith Cummins
24/03/2020
... whether the allocation of the covid-19 hardship fund to local authorities will take into account levels of deprivation.

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Being without childcare and having to pay nursery fees is a great concern for parents with small children. Nursery-based care is already extremely expensive, especially for children up to the age of 3. To expect parents to pay these fees up front to keep a place at the time when there is no accessible childcare (and for many parents no paid work), is unrealistic. We also need these nurseries to survive. When this is over, parents want their children to return to their nurseries.


Petition Signatures over time

Government Response

Tuesday 14th April 2020

The Government has announced a comprehensive package of support for individuals and businesses which will directly benefit providers of childcare.


Hard-working parents across the country rely on childcare to help them balance their home and work commitments. We can rightly be proud of our childcare sector. 96% of childcare settings in England are now rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, an increase from 74% in 2012.

During the current Coronavirus outbreak, the Government wants to support nurseries, pre-schools and childminders during what must be a worrying and uncertain time.

We have asked childcare providers to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

To help them do this, we have taken steps to directly support childcare providers in the current crisis.

We currently fund local authorities (LAs) to pay early education providers to offer up to 30 hours of early education per week, to qualifying families, for two, three and four-year-old children. We announced on 17 March that we will continue to pay this funding to LAs, which will provide reassurance for early years settings.

We have also put in place a significant package of financial support including a business rate holiday for many private providers and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to support workers. We expect nurseries to take a reasonable and proportionate approach to parents’ fees, in light of these unprecedented circumstances, and to communicate any arrangements clearly with them

Furthermore, childcare providers will benefit from the additional range of financial assistance measures we have introduced to support workers and businesses at this time.

We have announced that childcare providers will be eligible for a business rates holiday for one year. That means non-local authority providers of childcare (registered with Ofsted and providing EYFS) will pay no business rates in 2020 to 2021, from 1 April. This includes nurseries which are eligible for a charitable status relief – they will also pay no business rates at all in 2020-21 – and nurseries in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief will benefit from small business grant funding of £10,000 (we also know that some settings operate from shared spaces which may now benefit from a 100% rates relief – and we strongly encourage those shared spaces to reflect any business rates saving in their rent charges).

We have also set up schemes to help employees and the self-employed, during the outbreak – which will benefit both providers and parents. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme means that for employees who are not working but kept on payroll, the Government will contribute 80% of each worker’s wages of up to £2,500, backdated to 1 March 2020. Businesses can access this scheme while continuing to be paid the early entitlements funding via local authorities. The self-employed may be eligible for taxable grants under the Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme, announced on 26 March.

We thank the nurseries and other childcare providers who are working so hard to care for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This is a vital part of our fight against Coronavirus. In turn, we are working hard to mitigate the impacts of Coronavirus on all parts of our society. In the light of the steps we have already taken, we urge all childcare providers to be reasonable and balanced in their dealings with parents, given the great uncertainty they will be facing too. We are keeping under very close review what further support individuals and businesses may require.

Further information relating to setting closures, plus the full range of support available for workers and businesses can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures#funding

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Department for Education


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