AN MP has called for more support for childminders after hundreds completed his survey.
Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey found many childminders left short or out of work had failed to secure any government support.
His survey, which was completed by more than 600 childminders, found 99 per cent had lost income due to the pandemic, a third had not received support from the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and one in seven had been forced to take out a bank loan to make ends meet. Four per cent had even needed to use a foodbank.
The MP is calling for the government to provide targeted financial support for childminders, tackle existing low pay issues and priority vaccinations for childminders alongside NHS staff, care workers and school staff.
Mr Healey has given a copy of his childminder survey report to the Secretary of State for Education and said he would discuss the findings with council leaders in Rotherham to push them to play a greater role in giving supporting childminders.
BREAKING: Jury dismissed in ex-Lord Ahmed's child sex abuse trial
Advertiser readers name our gritters!
754 miles, no Munchies and the voice that mattered to Paul Warne ... the story of Norwich City 1 Rotherham United 0
Railway detonators stolen at Masbrough
“Despite big challenges, childminders have shown incredible resilience throughout this crisis – playing a crucial role to ensure key workers are able to continue working,” he said. “But they need support.
“The drop in demand is unlikely to recover fully for months and by then childminders could be gone and parents may struggle to get back to work.
“Covid-19 is exacerbating problems that already existed in early years – including a reliance on low wages and long hours. There is a crisis in the sector and the government is asleep at the wheel.”
Among those affected is Marie Harrop, from Swinton, who had been forced to close her childminding business due to Covid-19.
She said: “When lockdown happened, I lost all my work but I got no help from anywhere. I had to get by on my husband’s wage.
“I’ve since had to close my business and seek work elsewhere because I couldn’t manage on the income drop in my childcare provision.”