UK News

Covid in Nurseries are causing awful staff shortages!

no comments

Nurseries across the UK are struggling massively due to staff shortages resulting in stressful times for nursery owners and staff.

The education correspondent Elaine Dunkley visited a nursery owner down in Stockport to hear her story, she said “every time the doorbell goes off for the children to be let into the nursery, you see them just pile in all enthusiastic to start the day.

The past few weeks have been difficult for the nursery owner Nina Stones, who owns eight nurseries across Greater Manchester and Cheshire, the staff absences caused by the spread of Covid mean she has temporarily had to close some of her nurseries on two separate occasions.

The day Elaine went to visit Nina reported that she had 25% of her staff self isolating due to the virus, I have the stress of the staff worried about their income and I have the stress of being severely understaffed to the point where the staff I do have are stressed due to the amount of work they have to do, but I can’t close the nurseries I have due to I won’t get paid by the parents if the nurseries shut and I have bills to pay for!

She adds: “We’ve had a lot of children call in sick, so that has helped with the stress levels of finding more staff because there weren’t any more staff to find. Every nursery is open today, we are all safe, so we can function today. But we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Nina was just 21 when she opened her first-ever nursery, she’s been providing childcare for over 20 years but she now fears for her future. “I used to work for my nana, she was a childminder and I was her assistant and the dream and the passion just went from there,” she reports.

“My passion for childcare is just there every day. I live and breathe it. My concern is that I can’t provide a service to all of our families. I don’t know whether the business will be sustainable if it continues the way it is.”

Nina reports how hard it has been due to under-fives don’t have to isolate or take daily lateral flows if they have been in close contact with someone who has Covid. Jayne Mallett, operations manager at Nina’s Nursery, says there isn’t enough protection for staff in the early year’s sector. She says she is aware of occasions when parents have tested positive for Covid, but their children have kept coming to nursery.

Previously, for children under two there needed to be at least one member of staff for every three children. For children aged two, the ratio was at least one member of staff for every four children.

And for children aged three and over, there needed to be at least one member of staff for every eight children, but that depends on the different scenarios and settings of the nursery.

Now, in some cases,  Nursery owners may choose to respond to staff and child sickness and absences by temporarily mixing different age groups of children who would otherwise be educated or cared for separately. For more Covid-19 UK News, click here!

Banner and Image Credit: Shutterstock

Skip to toolbar