At the dawn of the year, life was ticking over very nicely for Co Tyrone woman Shauna Duffy.
With her husband in a secure job and two young children growing up in a stable family environment in Omagh, the 45-year old was self-employed and had been running a successful child-minding business on her own for the previous two years.
Shauna still has her health, but coronavirus is threatening to destroy everything else around her. She fears she will not have a business to return to unless she gets the help she so desperately needs.
In March her child-minding business, which she started in 2018, ground to a halt overnight. Now her husband is in the final stages of a redundancy process.
Every source of income for her family is disappearing and, being self-employed, Shauna is falling through the cracks, with no support available to keep her business afloat.
"Everything's slipping away," she told the Belfast Telegraph.
"I'm still open for business as things stand, but there's no business to be had. I just can't sustain this much longer. It's now at the point where I have to sit down and think, 'Is it really worthwhile to keep hanging on?' I can't afford to keep it all going much longer without any help.
"I was lucky in that I had the children from two families, along with my own two boys, giving me the maximum number of six under my care. They were the children of key workers, so initially things were looking okay, but when their partners found themselves out of work and in a position where they could look after their children at home, I was left with nothing.
"I'm still open for business and have gone through all the risk assessments for continuing to operate for families of key workers, but right now the business isn't there. I don't know when it will come back and I don't know what restrictions will be in place when it does.
"The list of key workers kept changing, so as self-employed childminders, we didn't know where we stood. We still don't.
"Since starting the business I've done everything the right way, gone through all the safeguarding and got registered officially, but I'm left with zero income and the same financial outgoings as everyone else. Insurance has to be maintained for the business despite having no income.
"We're not like day care facilities which have been able to furlough staff and apply for grants. I'm not getting any help.
"Neither me nor my husband have been on benefits before, but I can't maintain this any longer.
"The situation is desperate and we have no indication as to when that will change, what restrictions we will face and whether any support will be made available to keep my business afloat."
Shauna's situation got even worse when her husband's company announced 270 workers would be facing redundancy.
"I've invested in setting my business up, but it looks like every available source of income is going to disappear now," she explained.
"I'm only one of hundreds of registered childminders who are facing similar worries over the future of their business. I've been caught in a loophole and no one has done anything yet to close it.
"We're going to be faced with a situation where the Government wants people t go back to work, but daycare facilities will only be allowed to take in a reduced number of children. Where are the rest going to go to be looked after safely if childminders like me have had to close down?
"It's going to be a difficult situation for parents. There's a lot of uncertainty about schoolchildren being phased back into the classroom and the logistics of running a child-minding business are going to be a problem, but we've been left to try to cope by ourselves.
"Legally, only registered childminders have the protection and safeguarding needed to operate, but we've been left high and dry. Everything is out of my control.
"The NICMA has been wonderful in offering what support they can to people like me who have been forgotten, but they're not getting any answers.
"We're going to be left in a position where parents can't get back to work because there's no childcare available, or they will turn to someone who is unregistered and that opens up so many legal and safety issues."