HUNDREDS of jobs could be at risk if after school care clubs are not able to reopen in August, the industry has warned.

The Glasgow West Childcare Forum said employers aren't able to guarantee jobs for staff or update worried parents due to a lack of communication from the Scottish Government.

Audrey Edmonds, who chairs the forum as well as operating two after school clubs in north west Glasgow, said groups have been left in the dark over when, where or how they will be able to operate when schools reopen.

She told the Glasgow Times: "We've not had any income since March and we still don't know when that income will be coming back.

"We don't know if we'll have to increase our prices, I can't guarantee my staff their jobs and parents are quite angry because I can't tell them what's happening but they think 'well, it's phase three on Wednesday so you can open fully'.

"We need to be able to plan. If we get an update on July 30, that only gives us 10 days to prepare."

Ms Edmonds cares for around 95 children between Blairdardie and Corpus Christie Primary schools with the help of 10 staff.

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Glasgow Times:

While she estimates there around 82 private or voluntary after school care organisations, employing around 2,000 people.

However, with Glasgow City Council unable to confirm whether she will be able to continue to operate within the schools until the Scottish Government releases it's guidance at the end of the month, Ms Edmonds has grave fears for the industry's future.

She said: "It's the not knowing which is the hardest ... if we have to drop the number of kids we take, it would be absolutely devastating. We might not able to survive let alone employ people and a lot of these people are the only one working in their house.

"If we're not allowed back into the venues we used before, we need time to decide where to go. I have a plan to use the outdoors but that only works until October. The kids will need shelter.

"I work between two sites, I don't know if I'll be able to do that."

The plight of the groups, which Ms Edmonds described by as the "forgotten sector" of the childcare industry, has been backed by Councillor Paul Carey.

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He said: "This is an essential service for my constituents and most people rely on the after school service in order that they can work.

"This service has been suspended for months now due to the pandemic, however, in order for people to start back at their jobs, it needs to be up and running."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Our overriding priority is to keep children and staff safe when childcare facilities re-open from today.

“All guidance and restrictions on school aged childcare provision is based on scientific and expert advice, which continues to stress that minimising overall contacts is important for the suppression of the virus and efficacy of test and protect.

“We worked with a number of providers, including the School Out of School Network, while drafting the guidance issued on 3 July. The Education Recovery Group is in ongoing talks with key stakeholders, and the guidance will be kept under review and updated as scientific and public health guidance evolves. We don’t want any businesses to remain closed, or open with restrictions in place, for a day longer than is necessary but public health is paramount.”