Emma, a single-parent, works for a large supermarket store part-time. As a key worker and due to high customer demand, Emma’s employer wanted her to continue working throughout the pandemic. During the first lockdown from March 2020, her employer agreed to a period of paid leave so that she could look after her young child. Then during the second lockdown in November 2020, Emma had to use her holiday to take time away from her job for childcare. From the third set of restrictions in January 2021, when after-school care was once again limited, Emma was expected to take unpaid leave to look after her child.
Faced with the prospect of reduced household income, Emma was determined to continue working. And, as a key worker, her child was eligible to go into school. However, with clinically-vulnerable parents, limited pre- and post-school care, and work commitments, she struggled to arrange transport to and from school. Citizens Advice advised her that, as per the third lockdown rules, she is eligible to form both a support bubble (as a single adult household) and a childcare bubble (her child is under 14). The added option of a second bubble could help her to arrange shared transport with another child from the school.