An overview of nurseries and daycare in the UK

The Covid-19 pandemic crashed many businesses from all over the globe. Nurseries and schools have likewise taken a hard blow. These establishments have been ordered to temporarily cease their operations, except for instances when some have been asked to admit children with special cases or children of front liners and other key workers.

There are different types of nurseries and childcare institutions in the UK, all of which are funded differently. Early childhood care and education in the UK are mostly provided by private entities. Some are run by state schools, which offer their services for free. Those that are run by private businesses face a bigger threat in terms of permanent closure, while those with government fundings face reorganisation brought about by modified policies, new demands, and restructured budgets.

During these trying times, nurseries are mandated to strategize and recoup. They have seen the decline of their financial position after the coronavirus crisis. Despite being formally given the green light to re-open on the 1st of June, they continue to fear facing new challenges brought about by the catastrophic effects of the pandemic. The economic instability coupled with their unclear financial recovery looms questions on whether they can even emerge from the downfall even after the lockdown has been lifted.

 

The situation of UK nurseries after COVID-19

Many business owners have expressed their struggle regarding their financial issues. This means many have resorted to requesting government help just to keep their establishments afloat. Small businesses, in particular, have been given access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This entitles the provision of 80% worker salaries and a one-year business holiday. However, government funding concerns, employer pensions, employee wages, and the rise in operational costs had affected the nation, and most claim that the program may not be enough. Because of this, a lot of nurseries and daycare are on the brink of their breaking point. Moreover, government fundings have been re-channelled to fund nurseries that remain open to cater to children of front liners and other key workers. This means those that have been shut down due to the nationwide lockdown have been stripped of their support. This leaves them vulnerable as they continue to pay for rent, wages, and other overhead expenses.

 

The future for UK Nurseries

As the UK Prime Minister announced the government plans to resume school and work, nurseries and daycare owners are yet to see how much the market landscape has changed in line with the rebuilding initiatives of the sector and the entire nation. However, considering the resumption of work of furloughed workers, not to mention those who have been redirected to working from home, the demand for nursery and childcare services can experience a sudden boom as parents would once again start looking for such services.

Health and Safety

As everybody prepares themselves to resume economic operations and adapting to the “new normal,” parents have evident hesitation in sending children back to nurseries, daycares, and educational institutions. Without evidence that there will be sufficient PPE, sanitizing supplies, and social distancing measures, parents will most likely hold off sending out their kids until policies and regulations are more concrete and in place. This is something all industries are expected to adhere to. Therefore, nursery and daycare owners can expect more parents to raise more questions and become more stringent before sending back their children under their care.

 

Shorter Hours

Since businesses have adjusted their operational landscape to move forward with the “new normal,” some employers have converted permanent work from home job positions. As this continues, some parents would start sending their children to nurseries and daycares to have more focus on their work and relieve themselves of parenting duties. However, the industry could expect shorter hours for the children to stay as parents are now more capable of picking up their kids on time.

 

How to take advantage of the COVID aftermath

With so many people anxious to rebuild and restore normal business operations, nurseries and daycare services should see this as an opportunity to get themselves back on track. While it is true that many would have been unfortunate and failed due to the pandemic, it also brings new opportunities to the remaining players in the industry. This means competition is lesser bringing about a higher probability of parents choosing you over others.

 

Revamping your nursery after Covid-19

The battle is far from over, but we have been given the chance to start rebuilding and recuperating. Here are ways on how you can start a new phase amidst the COVID aftermath:

 

Upgrade your website

It is always important to keep yourself updated. Times have changed, therefore your market could have changed their perspective in terms of availing services from you. An effective nursery website design should be able to communicate 3 important things:

  1. What you offer
  2. Why you’re different
  3. How you can change their lives for the better

 

Establish regular communication lines with parents

Anxiety and paranoia have long been present with parents especially when it comes to infants and toddlers. To be able to put their minds in peace, it is best to send regular email updates to parents to let them know how their child is adapting, and how you can address their needs as caregivers.

 

Utilise Zoom for children

Parents have started noticing the behavioural effects of the isolation caused by the pandemic. Some young kids have developed fear and anxiety to the outside world. Utilise tools such as Zoom to help them warm up to coming back to the nursery and make them look forward to something new.

 

Provide online streaming

Part of adapting is coping with trends and customer behaviour. Provide online streaming for part-timers so utilise and maximise your hours.

 

Conclusion

It’s a big hurdle trying to turn things around for your nursery and daycare business. But we have to move forward headstrong. However, it has to start with you. Committing to survive and finding ways to survive are two different things.

Let us take your hand and help you emerge from the rock bottom. We can provide you with great websites to help your business grow and get back on track. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can help you achieve your goals.