A Prestwick woman is offering two discounted childcare spaces for NHS staff who are working tirelessly around the clock.

Eileen Connaughton-McCarthy has been a childminder in the Prestwick area for 14 years. She is now extending her services to those who need it most amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Eileen believes NHS staff with families could do with a helping hand as they try to balance frontline work with caring for their kids.

Eileen said: “I’ve been doing childminding for 14 years. My son was diagnosed with cancer 16 years ago and since then I’ve been doing charity shop work and helping others.

"With everything going on, I thought I need to do something to help. My forte is childminding so I thought, how can I help through that?”

Eileen made the kind gesture on social media and was immediately met with shares, comments and likes from those in and around Prestwick.

Eileen stressed that it doesn’t need to be two families benefiting from her offer – it can be different families on different days to help lighten the load on NHS workers.

She said: “One NHS staff member has been in touch. I used to look after her three kids but I will now be taking on her youngest if and when needed.  A lot of people have been in touch to say they’ll pass my number on so hopefully something will come of it.”

Following the UK government announcing stricter social distancing measures, the Care Inspectorate has produced new guidelines stating that emergency childcare will continue to be delivered for vulnerable children and key workers.

Eileen said: “I am in constant contact with the Care Inspectorate website as well as emails from them giving me updates of what we as childminders can and cannot do. As of now we can still open to key workers.

“We need to do something to ensure that NHS staff can continue to work without the worry of who’s going to look after their kids. Obviously some of them would go to their grandparents but now they can’t.”

Eileen said she is hoping to offer more priority slots to NHS as spaces free up.

Eileen said: “I put two spaces aside initially for NHS staff but I’ve had parents who were at college or working in schools at home now that these places have closed, so I have more space available.

"So long as long as I stay within my numbers and within the Care Inspectorate guidelines, I’m happy to help.”

You can contact Eileen through Facebook or by calling 07754467646