Co-op Midcounties goes further to provide childcare for critical workers
Co-op Midcounties, which operates nurseries across England, has announced a range of initiatives to help ensure key workers have uninterrupted access to childcare throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Published 2 Apr 2020 in Society Announcements
The Society has kept a third of its nurseries fully operational and open for business, focusing on those which are close to local hospitals in order to support NHS and critical workers who may be unable to provide essential support if childcare is unavailable. Co-op Midcounties is calling on any local critical workers who may require childcare to get in touch.
The Society has also today launched a new fund to help parents working for the NHS and in other critical roles pay nursery fees for the duration of the outbreak with an initial donation of £25,000.
In addition, it has paused fees for all children not currently attending its nurseries as a result of the pandemic, and is asking parents, members and communities to support this fund instead through their own contributions.
Co-op Midcounties will use all of the money raised through this fund to help reduce fees for critical worker parents who require childcare to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to their communities.
The Society has also launched a new partnership with Bio Decon Ltd, an organisation that has already been working with Public Health England, to implement its patented cleaning system which destroys any trace of Covid-19 across its nurseries.
The mobile system will be utilised in the nurseries which have remained open to provide childcare to the children of key-workers. No instances of the coronavirus have been identified at any of the sites, but Co-op Midcounties has taken the decision to invest in the technology as a precautionary measure to minimise the potential for any disruption to the nurseries’ operations and protect colleagues and children.
Phil Ponsonby, Co-op Midcounties Chief Executive, said: “We’re all incredibly grateful for the work that NHS Staff and other key workers are doing during the coronavirus pandemic to save lives and keep essential services running. We know that having access to childcare is absolutely essential for many of these key workers, which is why we’ve kept open our nurseries which are close to local hospitals during this time.
“We know that many of our critical workers are facing unprecedented challenges while in work. If we can contribute to help relieve some of their pressures out of work, then we absolutely will – and we hope this fund and the increased measures we’re taking to protect colleagues, children and their parents will go some way to helping with this.”
The cleaning with Bio Decon Ltd will all take place outside working hours and will supplement additional hygiene measures including enforcing social distancing protocols, providing access to hand sanitisers and offering transport for colleagues to travel to and from work.
Critical workers interested in using our childcare facilities should contact customer services on 0800 954 0669 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The full list of open nurseries can be found at: https://www.littlepioneers.coop/critical-key-workers/