Information about supporting the workforce to be confident and safe.
Our priority is the safety of all staff, children and families.
Our collective responsibility is to enable all staff to feel confident when returning to the workplace. They should have the opportunity to read and discuss the following:
- health Protection Scotland guidance,
- the Strategic Framework for Reopening Schools and ELC, and
- the framework document COVID19- a framework for decision making
As settings plan to welcome back children, families and staff, staff wellbeing must be protected. Staff will need time to re-connect, to meet, talk and 'check in' with each other.
Providers should communicate extensively with their staff to ensure that they are clear and confident with the measures and processes recommended within the guidance on safe reopening of settings in advance of settings reopening.
Practitioners may find it valuable to access support for their mental health and wellbeing in the lead-up to settings reopening and once they do reopen, given many will be balancing the return to work with managing their own childcare needs and any stressors linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, including potential illness and bereavement within their own families.
The Scottish Government is working with partners from across the childcare sector to develop a directory of existing mental health, wellbeing and professional learning support for early learning and childcare, and out of school care, practitioners and childminders. This is updated and shared across the education and childcare sector at regular intervals.
In addition, Scottish Government has worked with Early Years Scotland to develop a new Team ELC Wellbeing Hub, a website which sets out vital information for the sector on maintaining their wellbeing at this difficult time, and creates opportunities for staff to connect with each other https://teamelcwellbeinghub.org/
It is also important that professionals from across the school age childcare sector are provided with safe and supportive spaces to connect with colleagues from across Scotland in a virtual environment. This will allow for professional dialogue and peer support to take place during this challenging period. Scottish Government will work with sector organisations to create such opportunities, via professional learning events, to enable practitioners from across the school age childcare sector to engage in shared learning via online platforms.
Scottish Government will work with key stakeholders to gather and share widely across the sector good practice examples of successful workforce deployment and workforce support models adopted during delivery of critical childcare to priority groups of children during the pandemic response period.