A COUNCIL has announced schools across Hampshire will continue to support children throughout the Easter holidays in a bid to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

Hampshire County Council (HCC) revealed on Monday vulnerable children and pupils of key workers will continue to be looked after by schools, early years’ education settings, nurseries and childminders from April 6 through to April 17.

This comes as the Department for Education urged the provision should remain in place over the fortnight, including Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Cllr Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for education and skills, said: “Pre-schools, schools and childminders across the county have been fantastic in their response to the national effort in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. "They have pulled out all the stops to ensure those children who are unable to remain at home safely can be cared for in their settings.

“Feedback from our partner agencies such as the NHS, the police, the military and the utilities has been overwhelmingly positive, highlighting the tremendous efforts of Hampshire’s educators in keeping vital services running."

She added: "Knowing their children are being safely looked after by schools is important for key workers.

“That said, it is reassuring to see that, generally, the number of children accessing the provision has been lower than expected as parents have heeded the government’s advice to keep their children at home.”

The county council’s services for Young Children Team is also available to help key workers, requiring support, to identify care provision outside of usual business hours and at weekends.

Key workers needing this support should email childcare@hants.gov.uk and include their full contact details so that the team can assist parents and carers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The National Education Union has been contacted for comment.