No childcare to work during coronovirus…help

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  • #38107 Report


    Hi all,

    My work is currently open and I’m still expected to go to work but now schools have shut I cant afford extra childcare and my childminder has actually been told to close down except for key workers.

    My mum works in the nhs so she cant help out during this time as she is needed more there.

    Where do I stand? I’ve seen the government will help if you actually have coronovirus or are self isolating but there’s been no clear advise on what to do if you havent got childcare to go to work. I’m unable to work from home.

    So stressed, anxious and confused 😥

    #38109 Report


    Were you on working tax credit ? Can we stay on it is we are not doing 16 hours or do we have to go on universal credit or do we do both anyway

    #38111 Report


    I was getting working tax credit yes. I really don’t know what we do it’s so confusing. There seem to be clear guidelines if you cant work due to having the virus or being told to self isolate but nothing if you can’t afford childcare to go to work because of the school closures.

    #38115 Report


    You maybe entitled to 18 weeks parental leave. Childminders can’t operate because some of them are not covered by insurance. Fortunately my daughter is at school on Monday and I am able to work from home.

    Could you reduce your hours Nd maybe speak to other parents to see if they can help you. At this moment no one knows how long this will last. Good luck

    #38120 Report


    I am in similar position, I can work from home if I had childcare but nursery is only open for key people, I don’t qualify for any benefits, no idea how to work at home and keep a 2yr old occupied. Money doesnt come from anywhere else. No childcare options as we’re not supposed to see anyone! Can’t find anything that says gov will help. Anyone found anything useful? Thanks

    #38127 Report


    I’m in this exact position I have three kids at single normally work full time but am unable to as schools are now closed. My company have refused to let me work from home and I will not be getting paid for time off, if anybody has any answers it would be much appreciated

    #38132 Report


    It seems so many single parents are in the same boat and the government are over looking them again. I’m going to try (if I can get through) call DWP on Monday to find out my options. If I get any answers il post back here

    #38133 Report


    It’s disgraceful that the government haven’t addressed this issue for single parents. How can we work and look after children? Most single parents base their working week around school hours. So many rely on grandparents for childcare but being told over 70s should be social distancing. Also supposed to be homeschooling so no good just having them ‘tag along’ to work. The directions given by gov have got no supportive measures in place to help. Can’t go to work/child mind/home educate all at once!

    #38134 Report


    Hello I’m glad it’s not just me but that still doesn’t help any of us. My situation is having to work from home with a 3 and 5 year old. I can’t work unless I’m left alone. my employers guidance was that once schools close we can work in the evening.  This sounds marvellous but it’s just not sustainable. 7 hours starting at 8:30pm and then up again at 6am when kids wake is just not going to work.  I did two days already and I’m collapsing. Plus school have sent extremely lengthy complex home schooling directions all addresses to the child’s helping parent. My 5 year old isn’t going to be able to understand any of it to complete the tasks. So if I educate her in the day when will I do any chores etc. They provided full day schedule of work to complete each day. And then be working at my job until early hours of the morning. It’s not possible.  Very stressed and ill with exhaustion already. Only potential option I see is working during the day on the full understanding that I’m dipping into work while sigle handedly caring for a 5 year old and 3 year old and therefore my output will be extremely reduced but i still get to count the hours i was TRYING to work but I doubt they will go for that. And if they amazingly did then I would still have no window of opportunity to do any of the homeschooling which needs to be completed by the Friday each week. I’m talking 5 days full of scheduled tasks. And all of it needs my assistance as it’s not stuff a 5 year old can go off and do alone. Surely many will be in this impossible situation???! Something has to be taken out of the equation. I don’t eve have anyone you watch kids even if the distancing measures weren’t in place.  Only childminder. No other people in our city who could watch them for me. Looking forward to hearing what you all end up doing. We need a fairy godmother! Work suggested using annual leave. That doesn’t last very long and then what do I do about the rest of the school year as I use all annual leave to cover the childminders 4 weeks closure at Xmas and half term and use flexible leave for all child sick days which I then work back the time for. I have no days off except childcare days. If I use all the annual leave now then in mid April I will be in same position and also have no leave for when we go back to normal.

    I can only hope that this is a specific scenario that is still going to be addressed by the government and if we just muddle through they might clarify on Monday ??????!


    Also no idea about the tax credit situ. Childminder is charging full fees throughout so does this mean as my childcare bill remains the same the tax credit claim remains the same….. it’s all a big muddle and no clarification.


    Sending hugs and sympathy to you all in this impossible situation!!!!

    #38171 Report


    Hi, I’m new to this site, registered for some advice but seems to me, there’s a lot of us in the same boat.

    I’m a single mum with a 2 year old. I’m currently living with and my parents who are at high risk. I’m a key worker, my parents have gone into 12 week isolation, so have my daughter and I for now to protect them (luckily I’m on AL so I have a week to sort this). I have no childcare as my parents look after her while I’m at work. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. If I have to go back to work next week, where do I find childcare, what about my parents health risk. When we come home. Can I really be expected to find child care and somewhere to live in a week, even if I do find those things I won’t have the money to cover it.

    #38174 Report

    Hi all

    I certainly appreciate that it is a difficult and confusing time.  Our helpline advisers may be able to answer some of your questions.  You can also have a link at our information page on coronavirus.  This will continue to be updated over the coming weeks.  Hope this gives some help and support.

    Kind regards, Justine

    • Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline – Freephone 0808 802 0925

    Opening hours:  Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10- 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4  They can be busy so callers can expect to wait up to 20 minutes before the call is answered.

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