Portsmouth nursery sector sees 'green shoots' of recovery after Covid challenges

FOUR nurseries in Portsmouth closed in the pandemic and two childminders resigned – but there are ‘green shoots’ of recovery.

By Ben Fishwick
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 10:51 am

A Portsmouth City Council report on the availability of early years childcare said a huge drop in private income and furlough rules hit hard.

Nurseries were twice given a £2,700 grant while childminders received £500.

The report said the financial challenges saw four nurseries and two childminders close, with a lack of cash making ‘their decision to close unequivocal’.

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Top Tots Nursery opened their third nursery in Goldsmith Avenue, Portsmouth, in September 2020. Pictured is: Radley Isaacs, two. Picture: Sarah Standing (240920-4476)

One gym-based nursery cannot reopen until September as bookings have dipped.

But it added: ‘On a positive note, two new nurseries have been registered over the past six months, and there have been a few enquiries from people wanting information about starting up as a childminder.’

The report added: ‘We are hopeful that we can continue to support those struggling, with business support, and signposting families to targeted settings to increase their numbers.’

Staff have shown a ‘can-do’ attitude and there are ‘green shoots’ of recovery, the report said.

September bookings are also ‘looking promising’.

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