ALTERNATIVE before and after school care for students is being explored by the government following the sudden closure of an independent childcare business.
Earlier this week Little Giants, which operated at Grouville, Trinity, St Martin and Mont Nicolle schools, sent a letter to parents informing them that the business was ceasing with ‘immediate effect’ following a loss of profit which occurred during Covid.
Angela McCann from Little Giants said she was ‘deeply sorry’ for the impact it would have on families.
The situation could leave many parents without care for their children before or after school.
Assistant Children’s and Education Minister Louise Doublet said: ‘I understand that many parents will be facing serious difficulties following this closure and as a working mother myself I can fully empathise with this. After school clubs provide essential infrastructure and support for working families.
‘Given the very sudden withdrawal of the service, our school staff and officers from the department of CYPES are currently working together to urgently assist with alternative arrangements, so that parents can have access to much-needed after school support.’
She has called for employers, who may have staff impacted by the situation, to consider ‘flexible working support’.
‘We will be in contact with parents as soon as possible to give further details,’ she said.
In a letter sent to parents by Mrs McCann, she said keeping the business afloat in the past two years had been a ‘rollercoaster’.
‘The Co-funding Payroll system assisted us during Covid. However, operating in bubbles meant that we had to limit the numbers of children lessening our profitability, while at the same time families were working from home and didn’t need our services.
‘I have tried to fix this situation by putting personal funds into the business while at the same time going without a salary and this, of course, cannot go on,’ she said.
‘I understand that this will leave all of you in a very difficult position as I know how needed before, after school and holiday care is. I am truly deeply sorry for this and the impact that it will have on you and your families,’ she added.
Mrs McCann also revealed that parents who had paid for care in advance would have to make a claim to the liquidator as the company would be going through a formal liquidation process.
A parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, said they were given 24 hours notice about the closure by their child’s school, rather than Little Giants themselves.
‘The short notice given and the lack of alternatives will undoubtedly translate into higher costs for those who are already struggling with higher costs due to inflation as the alternatives are much pricier due to the services they provide and their location being different to the school,’ they said.