Rishi has visited a Northallerton childcare provider to thank staff for looking after children of key workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Rosedene Nursery was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, during lockdown to care for hundreds of key workers’ children.
Rishi, who recently wrote to Rosedene to commend its staff for all their hard work, followed his letter up with a personal visit to the business to thank staff in person.
The team at Rosedene gave Rishi a tour of the facilities, he met with employees and parents to discuss their childcare experiences over the past few months.
He also spent time with the children taking part in Forest School activities, including planting lavender plants in the garden.
At the start of the new autumn term, Rosedene also opened a new setting last week on the opposite side of Northallerton at Broomfield School to accommodate the increased demand and develop a new way of delivering early education and care.
Rishi said: “It was absolutely fantastic to see all the kids in such a happy and nurturing environment with a team of people here who are so dedicated to their work. As a parent, I know how important good childcare is, and that’s what we’ve seen here today.
“As we are now reopening our economy and trying to get our lives as back to normal as possible, childcare is a critical part of that, and for people to go back to their workplaces knowing they can have their children somewhere that is safe and secure that they feel comfortable with, that’s a vital part of making that all work.
“Childcare facilities like Rosedene are absolutely critical as we slowly get our economy going again. I was delighted to see that happening with lots of happy kids, happy parents and a happy team here as well.”
Alice McCullagh, director at Rosedene, said: “We were absolutely delighted to welcome our Chancellor to Rosedene with his acknowledgement of the vital role Rosedene have played in providing a safe and caring learning environment for our children and their families.
“Following Mr Sunak’s letter praising Rosedene staff for their hard work and commitment, Rishi’s visit to our Northallerton nursery is further testament to their dedication and resilience throughout the past six months.
“We know the pandemic is far from over, however it’s great that Mr Sunak took the time to understand how we and many other providers are taking measures to minimise risks and facilitate safe practice for children, so parents don’t need to worry.”
Rosedene’s key worker ‘hubs’, located close to acute medical sites including James Cook Hospital, North Tees Hospital, Northallerton’s Friarage Hospital and the primary care facilities in Redcar, at the height of the pandemic were open round-the-clock.
Rosedene catered for the shift patterns of all key workers including doctors, nurses, paramedics, police and fire officers, care workers and the wider range of people classified as key workers.