Support and clear guidance for the reopening of baby and toddler classes and groups.
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Babies, toddlers and new parents need social interaction. Babies need music, movement and singing. Not just for fun but for their healthy development, their language acquisition and for their (and their parents) future mental health. Baby groups (for parents and under 5 year olds), whether a local toddler group or a more structured class run by a provider like Baby College or one of the other children’s activity providers offer a vital lifeline and support for new parents. They encourage a healthy interaction between parent and child, peer support and ideas for play. Some groups have managed to survive this crisis by offering online classes but some classes and related businesses have already gone out of business. COVID-19 has been a devastating blow to this sector and there has been very little and for some (including many franchise businesses like ours) almost no financial support at all (except a bounce back loan which, if viable classes are not able to reopen soon, will be impossible to pay back).
In order to reopen and advertise classes the sector needs a CLEAR date for reopening and needs clear guidance on singing and when we might open groups of 10 or more parents (without babies being counted separately) safely! Groups are primarily attended by women up to mid forties and under five year olds (neither of whom are as we understand it in high risk categories), so it is hard to understand the lack of priority to get these groups reopened. With no clear way forward and no financial support many more of these long-running, much loved local small businesses will cease to exist to the long term detriment of the most important members of society - our children.
Baby College calls on Boris Johnson and the UK Government to prioritise the support and information for class providers for 0-5s.
Baby College is also collaborating with Happity on an additional government petition and would love it if you would sign that petition too when it is published. We will post an update with details soon. In the meantime please keep sharing.
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