Monday, January 18, 2021

Childcare group secures top-up support package

An independent childcare provider in Leicester is keeping its doors open after receiving funding from Lloyds Bank via the Government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme Top Up, launched on Tuesday 10th November.

Janine Gibson owns and runs two nursery sites, Dotties Nursery and Dots & Tots Nursery, and an after-school club at Christ the King Primary School, providing care for more than 120 families across Leicester.

She has received additional funding on top of a five-figure Bounce Back Loan secured earlier this year, to provide a buffer throughout the second lockdown across England as revenues decrease while parents continue to work from home.

The initial Bounce Back Loan enabled the family-run group to continue paying overheads and to quickly implement new Covid-secure ways of working so that it could continue offering care for children of key workers during the first national lockdown.

Prior to the latest lockdown measures coming into force, the group had started to see demand return for its early years care. Looking beyond the current lockdown, it is now fully subscribed for 2021 at its Dots & Tots site on Avebury Avenue. All 14 members of staff across its offering have returned from furlough and Janine is now looking to take on more employees as pupil numbers continue to increase.

Janine Gibson said: “We’re proud to be an independent, family-run business, but like many others we were hit hard by the lockdown measures here in Leicester as more parents were able to care for their children while working from home. While this affected our income, the support that Lloyds Bank has provided has been a vital help to us throughout this difficult time.

“The second lockdown has posed new challenges, but the additional top-up loan means we can retain all of our staff and start to look to the future with confidence. We opened a new site last year, which is already full subscribed for 2021, and have plans to continue our growth as we look ahead. We look forward to working with Lloyds Bank as we continue on our journey.”

Richard Swinfield, Local Business Development Manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “Childcare providers will always be an essential part of the economy, despite temporary dips in demand due to home working. Janine has shown fantastic resilience throughout and this top-up loan will enable her business to continue offering its services to those who need it.

“We’ll continue to work with other small, independent businesses across the East Midlands to help them navigate this uncertain period.”

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