Last reviewed 9 March 2021

Research conducted by the Early Years Alliance and Ceeda on behalf of the Mayor of London has found that 64% of nurseries and 56% of childminders consider their services to be at immediate risk of closure or to be facing potential closure in the next 12 months.

The report on the research, “The business support needs of London’s early years sector and how they can be met”, can be found at https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/the_business_support_needs_of_londons_early_years_sector_and_how_they_can_be_met.pdf.

It highlights that 70% of nurseries in disadvantaged areas of London class themselves as “struggling” compared with 59% in more affluent areas.

With the pandemic impacting on the already-fragile finances of many childcare settings, Mayor Sadiq Khan is calling on the Government to address a funding shortfall that has driven many of London’s more than 10,000 early years providers to the brink of closure.

“We know that working mothers are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and are more likely to have lost their jobs — the result of structural inequality that has long existed,” he said. “That is why I am calling on the Government to do everything in its power to support these key services, which are vital to London’s economic recovery, a lifeline for many of London’s working families, and a fundamental part of our duty of care to London’s children.”

The research examined data from the end of the first lockdown until the study concluded in November 2020. It involved 261 nurseries, pre-schools and maintained nursery schools as well as 269 childminders.

Comment by Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula

If working parents are unable to find childcare solutions even after coronavirus restrictions are lifted, employers may find that this adversely impacts upon their requirement for staff.

Therefore, employers may need to pay closer attention to managing childcare issues where working parents have younger children, meaning remote working measures could continue post-pandemic.