A new survey shows the huge impact COVID-19 is likely to have on childcare provision in the UK.
Nearly a sixth of nurseries and childminders are set to permanently close as a result of coronavirus, which could result in more than 250,000 childcare spaces no longer being available in the UK, according to a survey.
The Childcare.co.uk survey of over 2,000 nurseries and registered childminders shows that only half of childcare providers are likely to reopen after lockdown, while a third state they are still undecided if they will be able to continue business.
When providers were asked why they plan on closing due to Covid-19, nearly three quarters blamed personal financial problems, whereas just under a third (27%) said their customers will no longer need their facility after the pandemic.
This is because they think there will be a rise in home-schooling, as well as an increase in parents no longer being able to afford the same childcare options as before.
Childcare estimates that would lead to an increase of over 28% in parents looking for childcare – or 1.1 million parents.
A previous poll on homeschooling revealed that nearly a quarter of parents say they are likely to continue home-schooling their children when the government eases the coronavirus lockdown measures.
Richard Conway, founder of Childcare.co.uk, said: “As the coronavirus pandemic has progressed in the UK, we’ve seen first-hand the effect it’s had on childcare providers as some have been forced to temporarily close whilst others manage to stay afloat as they support key workers. Therefore, as this uncertain time continues, we decided to survey some of our childcare providers to find out just how the pandemic will affect them in the long term; and it was shocking to discover how many are set to permanently close as a result.
“Following a previous poll that revealed that nearly a quarter of British parents are considering home-schooling once lockdown ends, it’s no surprise to learn that childcare providers will suffer as a result. But, as other parents plan to head straight back to the office, hopefully the business of childcare will pick up and bounce back.“