Subject: Support for parent & baby classes to return – urgent help needed
Dear [insert name of MP],
I am writing because the government is not providing enough support for baby & toddler classes to return covid safely.
There are now clear guidelines for children’s after-school and holiday activities, where they attend alone, or for adult exercise classes – but no such guidelines have been created for under 5 classes where parents attend alongside their children.
My child(ren) are [insert age(s)]. We haven’t been able to attend classes now since March. [add in how this has affected your wellbeing, community friendships, and your children]
I am constantly seeing large groups of older children doing clubs and summer camps, or going to school. Yet for parents with younger children, there has been very confusing advise as to whether classes can start again. Singing groups are still not permitted even outdoors, when surely there are safe ways this can be managed?
I need these classes to come back as they form the back-bone of my peer support network, and for my child to socialise and develop.
At the moment, the guidelines state that only 6 people can meet for classes – this would be a class provider, 2 parent and 2-3 babies/pre-schoolers at most. Class providers can’t run profitably under these conditions, and therefore classes are still not returning.
Children’s centres are also not providing in-person classes – and at best are doing downloadable classes which are essentially TV for my child – something I am keen to avoid. And neither does it help provide peer support for me.
Whilst there are online classes out there on platforms like Happity and these have been great for a period, we now need to get out and see real people. And with older children now attending classes, it seems unfair that younger ages who are at lower risk cannot. Particularly babies – who need to see other faces, and whose mothers need support.
Please would you ask the government to urgently provide guidelines for baby & toddler classes so that the can start once again. Many Children’s Centres have closed over the past few years and we are depending on these classes to return, but many of my favourite classes have not had the support and have been forced to close their businesses.
If they could provide vouchers, at least for the most vulnerable families as they are for other sectors, this would be hugely appreciated.
So that there are classes for my children to attend both now and in future, please ask the government to urgently publish guidelines and review providing vouchers for this sector.