Nurseries and childcare facilities across Lincolnshire are facing permanent closures and redundancies as they struggle to survive during Covid-19.
In a surprising U-turn, the Government has announced that not all staff can be furloughed under the job retention scheme, leaving a big gap in funding.
Puddleducks Nursery in Spalding, which has 12 staff, is one of many facilities struggling to stay afloat.
Owner Sheona Smith said: “I paid out £13,000 in staff fees last week assuming I could claim back 80 per cent. I am raiding savings to keep paying the bills as Early Years has always been underfunded. If every child was paid for by the government’s free childcare places scheme, we would have closed years ago.
“Charging parents a retainer fee for places is not an option as it is in their contracts that they do not pay if we are closed.”
Many facilities have already closed even to children of key workers as there was not enough demand.
A Change.org petition asking the government to re-think their decision on funding currently has 146,000 signitures.