AN education authority has moved to provide support for parents who are critical workers over the Easter bank holiday and at weekends.

North Yorkshire County Council has taken unprecedented action by announcing it will launch a series of childcare hubs for ten hours a day from Good Friday for the children of workers ranging from NHS staff and police to farmers and food retail workers, who need to be able to go out to work.

The hubs will be operating either for youngsters aged up to four years or for school-age children, from 7.45am to 5.45pm, and parents will be able to book different sessions throughout the day.

Judith Kirk, the council’s assistant director of education, said the initiative, which follows the authority announcing it would keep schools open on the week days of the Easter holidays, aimed to help critical workers get into work when they had no other alternative for childcare.

She emphasised the hubs are only for parents and carers where there is at least one critical worker and there are no other alternatives for childcare.

Mrs Kirk said: “Parents and carers who have already made childcare arrangements should continue with their existing arrangements.”

Schools acting as hubs include Richmond Methodist Primary; Risedale Community College, Catterick; Mill Hill Community Primary, Northallerton; Hutton Rudby Primary; Grove Road, Harrogate; Moorside Primary, Ripon; Malton Community Primary; Airy Hill Community Primary, Whitby; Barrowcliff, Scarborough; Childhaven Day Nursery, Scarborough; Kinder Place, Scarborough; Barlby Community Primary; Settle College; Greatwood, Skipton; Sutton-in-Craven CE Primary and Brougham Street Nursery, Skipton.

There will be a maximum of ten places available for pre-school age children range in each setting accepting the youngest children. Parents are being asked that all food, nappies and consumables are provided for their children. These hubs will be open seven days a week.

The hubs taking school-aged children will be running at weekends and bank holidays only as it is expected that there will be sufficient cover from schools being open during the working week, including the Easter holidays but excluding bank holidays.

Mrs Kirk said there would be a daily maximum number of 20 places available for school-age range over the bank holiday weekend.

The authority’s executive member for education, Councillor Patrick Mulligan said: “We are so indebted to our frontline services. I think the message is getting through that staying at home is saving the NHS.

“We are trying everything we can to support the frontline staff so they can perform their roles.

"Their courage and determination is just extraordinary.”

To register interest, visit

The council said it would informed successful parents, who are urged not to contact the schools directly and to be aware they be asked for proof of critical worker status.