News

Reopening childcare safely

Published: 15 Jun 2020 13:09

Guidance published for nurseries and other settings.

Nurseries and other early learning and childcare (ELC) providers have received new guidance to help them plan for reopening when it is safe to do so.

Although some settings are providing critical childcare to vulnerable children and children of key workers, most will remain closed until later in the summer.

The new guidance sets out the core public health measures that will need to be taken to allow safe reopening, including:
• enhanced hand hygiene and cleaning practice
• caring for children in small groups and minimising contact between those groups
• maximising the use of outdoor space
• physical distancing between adults and older children at drop-off and pickup times.

The guidance was developed in partnership with Health Protection Scotland, local authorities, representatives of private and third-sector childcare providers, trade unions and the Care Inspectorate.

Children’s Minister Maree Todd said:

“We all want our youngest children to be back enjoying their nurseries and playing with friends as soon as possible. However, the safety of children and staff must come first, so nurseries and other childcare settings can only fully reopen when public health advice tells us it is safe to do so.

“This new guidance makes clear the principles that should be followed in preparing for staff and children to return. Our fantastic childcare practitioners know their settings best and they will be responsible for ensuring all necessary steps are taken to restart high-quality learning and care in a nurturing and safe environment.”

Background
Guidance on reopening of ELC services

Strategic Framework for Reopening Schools and ELC

Phase three of Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis sets out that “all childcare providers reopen subject to public health measures, with available capacity prioritised to support key worker childcare, early learning and childcare (ELC) entitlement and children in need”.

Guidance has already been published for childminders and fully outdoor nurseries who were able to reopen from 3 June, as part of phase one.