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“Looking after children during the pandemic is uplifting”

Sean McHenry Jan 13, 2021
Heard on: Marketplace
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Roopam Carroll runs a day care center in Nottingham, England. Courtesy of Roopam Carroll
COVID-19

“Looking after children during the pandemic is uplifting”

Sean McHenry Jan 13, 2021
Roopam Carroll runs a day care center in Nottingham, England. Courtesy of Roopam Carroll
HTML EMBED:
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My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Roopam Carroll runs a day care in Nottingham, England. She shared her pandemic story with our partners at the BBC.

I own a day care in the U.K., in Nottingham. On a daily basis, we look after up to 40 children, aged from 5 months up to 5 years.

Last year, we had a lockdown in the U.K., so I ended up closing altogether. Financially, it was just awful. This week, we’ve got a new lockdown. And actually, it feels a lot more manageable for me. We are allowed to stay open this time.

Looking after the children during the pandemic is uplifting. But also, it feels rewarding because last year, when the children weren’t able to come to nursery, it stopped a lot of parents being able to work. And things don’t get done. Doctors don’t do their rounds. We’re enabling all that kind of stuff.

I am generally worried about my finances. I’ve had to juggle such a lot. I’ve reduced the numbers of staff I’ve got. And that was really painful because they’re not just numbers. They are people who I work with on a daily basis. I know them. I know their families. So having to reduce staff numbers and make people redundant was really painful. It keeps me awake at night, but it’s what I have to do.

My job has shaped my thinking about money in that I don’t need as much of it as I used to. I plow money back into the business because it feels fulfilling and that’s the way that we develop and grow. Having my business has made me want less, but at the same time it’s also made me feel less secure. The problem now is if I don’t have money, then there are other people who are depending on me, so it’s increased my worry and my responsibility.

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COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What are the details of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan?

The $1.9 trillion plan would aim to speed up the vaccine rollout and provide financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. It would also include $1,400 checks for most Americans. Get the rest of the specifics here.

What kind of help can small businesses get right now?

A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.

What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?

New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.

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