‘Educational’ Sheffield indoor play centre asks for exemption to Tier 3 coronavirus rules
An ‘educational’ children’s indoor play centre in Sheffield is calling on the council to exempt them from the Tier Three coronavirus restrictions which come into force this weekend.
Curious Kids Town in Attercliffe describe themselves as an ‘imagination-based role-play centre’, but say under the new rules they will be treated like any other ‘soft-play’ place.
Under the new Tier Three coronavirus restrictions all indoor play centres in Sheffield will have to close from this Saturday along with pubs and bars which don’t serve food, casinos and bookmakers.
However, co-owner Sam Totty says Curious Kids Town and others like it are more akin to an educational experience than traditional soft-play, and that Sheffield Council should allow them to stay open.
She said: “Many of our customers come to us because we are not soft play and have limited capacity. Children come here to use their imaginations and learn.
“We provide quality early years resources in a mini version of a small town. This simply cannot be replicated at home nor even in most schools.
“We also require very high levels of parental supervision and therefore have limited seating or food options as the educational play is at the core of our business.
“And we have always run a booking system, have fixed session times and limit our numbers.”
Curious Kids Town is a miniature village containing a supermarket, a hair a beauty salon, a post office and even an ice cream van.
It is aimed at children under five but unlike soft play centres encourage parents to play a full part in the experience alongside their children.
“Educational opportunities are so important at the moment given that children have missed so much school,” added Sam.
“This isn’t your typical soft play place where the kids all charge around and the parents leave them to it. When we closed for the first lockdown it was just heartbreaking and we don’t want to do it again.”
Sam said they have also contacted their MP Clive Betts to lobby the council and Government on their behalf and other similar centres such as Tiny Town in North Anston are believed to be doing the same.
Sheffield Council has been approached for comment.