Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on re-opening school age childcare services

Non-statutory guidance for school age childcare providers in the local authority, private and third sectors to support a safe re-opening of these settings.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on re-opening school age childcare services
Outdoor spaces

Maximising use of outdoor spaces

Evidence suggests that outdoor environments can limit transmission, as well as more easily allowing for appropriate physical distancing between children, and staff should consider how they can safely maximise the use of their outdoor space.

Where school-age childcare services have access to an outdoor area or garden, they should try to use this space as much as possible during each session. If outdoor equipment is being used, settings should aim to ensure that multiple groups of children do not use it simultaneously, as well as considering appropriate cleaning between groups of children using it.

Staff should liaise with parents to take the necessary precautions to protect children from the elements and this should include suitable clothing for the weather, head coverings and sunscreen when appropriate. Advice on sun safety is available from the NHS.

Using outdoor spaces extensively during sessions may allow for more children to access the service, provided this is in line with staffing ratios and Care Inspectorate registration capabilities. Staff should therefore consider how they can safely maximise the use of outdoor spaces. Staff should plan for children to enjoy active energetic play across each session and this may include making use of other outdoor areas near to the service. Within any public spaces staff should be aware at all times of the need to keep children distanced from any other children who are not part of the setting, or other adults who may be in the vicinity.

Guidance to promote high quality learning and play experiences for children outdoors is also available.

First published: 30 Jul 2020 Last updated: 30 Jul 2020 -