14 Jan Essex Nursery Offers Free Childcare to Mums Needing a Cervical Smear Test
An Essex day nursery is offering mums who need a cervical smear test, a free hour of childcare so they can prioritise their own health and get the essential procedure booked in. The service is being highlighted as part of the upcoming Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (which runs from 20-26 January 2020).
Women across the UK are invited to have the potentially life-saving procedure every three to five years between the ages of 25 and 64. According to Public Health England, about three million women have not had a smear test for at least three-and-a-half years. GPs are trying to improve take-up rates as screening rates are at their lowest for two decades.
36-year-old Jo Varsani, the owner of Perfect Moments Day Nursery in Chadwell Heath, has noticed that without the necessary help with childcare, many mums have been delaying making the vital appointment with their GP.
Jo realised the importance of having a smear test herself, following the ten-year anniversary of the death of TV personality Jade Goody, and her Mother-in-Law passing away from cancer prematurely at the age of only 61. Up until this point, Jo realised she had been putting off having her own smear test for the last 20 years.
She is now offering a free hour-long childcare drop off service for those mums who need to get their smear tests completed. Bookings need to be made in advance to ensure there is availability at the nursery on the day to accommodate any children. All mums can take advantage of the scheme, not just the ones already attending the setting.
The Perfect Moments Day Nursery, which Jo runs from the back of the garden at her home in London, has gone from strength to strength since it opened three years ago, with a focus on putting the child first.
Parents do not get charged if they go away on holiday or if a child is sick, and they follow a plant-based diet, which the parents and children have embraced. Jo’s approach is being touted by many as a breath of fresh air in the industry, which is regularly criticised for being too expensive.