CHILDMINDERS across Scotland may be forced to close their doors for good as they wait for the UK Government’s self-employment grant to become available.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently unveiled plans for the Covid-19 package for self-employed workers which offered 80 per cent of earnings to be covered by the government, of up to £2,500 a month, for three months.

But childminders across the country have pained a picture of heightened anxiety and financial dependence on the goodwill of parents as the grant won’t be available until June and will only benefit businesses operating for more than one year.

READ MORE: UK Government praised for self-employed support scheme

In Scotland alone the number of childminders has dropped by almost 2000 between 2014 and 2018 from 34,680 to 32,700.

Yoopies, one of the UK’s leading childcare platforms, is calling to the government on behalf of the childminding industry to reassess this scheme to protect these self-employed workers during this difficult time. (

Franceca Chong, UK Country manager, said: “The industry has already faced an alarming drop in the number of childminders.

"We are therefore strongly urging the Government to reassess its action towards a struggling, underfunded industry so that it can recover well after this crisis is over.”

The Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) has welcomed the support scheme but is calling on parents and carers to support each other at this time as many won’t benefit at all.

READ MORE: Glasgow's self-employed relieved with government funding announcement​

Graeme McAlister, chief executive of SCMA, said: “This should provide an element of financial support and security for self-employed childminders who have been required to close their childminding services due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“However, not all self-employed childminders will be able to claim this grant and even those who can claim it will not receive any funds from the UK government until June.

“In real terms, this means that many childminders may have no source of income over the next two months. There is a risk that some childminding settings which have closed their doors may not re-open.

“As such, we are continuing to engage with the Scottish Government to unpick the waves of financial support which have been announced in recent weeks and to explore all possible avenues of income during this unprecedented situation.”

Mr McAlister then explains how childminders, parents and carers can help each other throughout lockdown.

READ MORE: Grant funding available to help businesses during Covid-19

He went on: “We are all in completely new territory that none of us have experienced before.

“This means that childminders and parents/carers, whose families they provide childcare for, are having to explore how they can support each other at this time.

“Some parents/carers may still be on full pay, willing and able to pay. Others may be on reduced income where deferred payment, payment plans or retainer fees may be appropriate.

“Where parents/carers may be in receipt of tax credits, including an allocation for childcare costs, we would encourage them to continue to make payment to their childminder at this difficult time.

“We are all in this together. Both childminders and parents across Scotland want childminding services to be available when this crisis is over, and the restrictions are lifted.”