'I'm unable to breath I’m so stressed': Single parents warn support bubbles fail to address financial dilemmas

But single parents and campaigners hit out at the support bubble plans for overlooking the fact the majority of single parents rely on formal childcare and do not necessarily have a support network to create a bubble with. It’s really tough not having another adult to sharethe load and share education with.” The charity executive welcomed the new social bubble rules but said there were a number of shortcomings – adding that many single parents had contacted the charity to ask for clarification about the measures due to feeling confused. Social bubbles also won’t help the desperate financial issues facing single parents. A disproportionate proportion of single parents work in shutdown sectors like hospitality, retail and admin, which are now reopening. I also think it’s a disgrace not giving free school meals over the summer holidays. Many single parents will have to make very stark choices about how they feed their children. More will be driven to food banks.” Ms Benson warned many single parents could not create bubbles with grandparents due to them having to socially isolate to look after their health. Social bubbles also do not apply to parents or children who may be shielding due to being in a vulnerable group, she added. The announcement earlier in the week that most children will not go back to school until September had only made her more anxious, she said. Paula, a single mother who has two children, told The Independent the support bubble announcement had made her feel more lonely than previously. My best friend is in Northampton so is too far away too.” Paula, who did not want her last name used, added: “I’m trying to balance working from home and schooling. Because there isn’tenough time.” Matt Hughes, a single parent with one daughter, criticised the new social bubble rules for being overly complicated. I know the new rules are supposed to combat loneliness but they make you ask who there is to bring into your bubble. There also isn’t space in the house for an extra person to stay.” Joe Levenson, of Young Women’s Trust, said while social bubbles will provide some “welcome comfort” to single parents, with so many children unable to return to school or nursery until September at the earliest, the dearth of childcare options remains an “enormous issue”. She added: “Young women have told us how hard it is to juggle looking after children at home with work, which is why there needs to be a strong focus from government on ensuring a support infrastructure is in place for parents.” A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Our early years providers have been central to this country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, with a many providing childcare to critical workers and vulnerable children during this time. “From 1 June, nurseries have been allowed to open more widely so more parents can return to work. To further support working parents, we have introduced temporary measures to ensure critical workers will still be eligible for much needed childcare offers if their income has changed due to coronavirus.”