Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): childminder services guidance

Published: 5 Mar 2021
Last updated: 29 Jul 2021 - see all updates

Non-statutory guidance to support childminding settings to operate safely.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): childminder services guidance


This is version 9 of the Childminder services guidance, published on 19 July 2021. 

The key changes are listed below but providers are encouraged to read the guidance in full.

This document is uncontrolled when printed. 

Who this guidance is for

This guidance is for Care Inspectorate registered childminders.

Nannies and au pairs can continue to provide childcare in accordance with the restrictions on informal childcare in the protection level in which they are operating. They should follow the appropriate guidance on meeting indoors, and Parent Club contains additional explanation which may be useful.


We know there are challenges in delivering services after a turbulent break and in the evolving COVID-19 situation in Scotland. In line with Realising the Ambition, our focus must be on supporting children to form a secure and emotionally resilient attachment base which will stand them in good stead as they grow and develop. Nurturing and attached relationships are essential to creating the conditions for children to flourish in childcare.

All children have a right to play, to learn and to access experiences that meet their physical, social, emotional and cultural needs, and they have a right to associate with their peers. In line with Scotland's commitment to Getting It Right For Every Child, children also have the right to the best possible health, with their best interests a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect them. Adults, of course, also have fundamental rights in relation to their health and wellbeing. These important rights and considerations have all been factored into the development of a framework for delivering ELC and school-aged childcare services.

While the vaccination of adults has changed the relative rates of transmission, evidence continues to confirm that younger children are at lower risk of clinical disease from COVID-19 than are older children and adults. There is no evidence of any difference in the risk of severe COVID-19 among pre-school, primary and secondary school teachers, relative to other adults of a similar age. The decision to re-open ELC in February 2021 also reflects the crucial role that ELC plays in supporting children’s development, and the challenge of delivering this crucial support remotely while we continue to make progress in suppressing the virus. Childminding settings must place very high priority on reinforcing the mitigations set out in this guidance.

This guidance provides principles to help you make decisions based on the best available evidence to help you operate in a changed context. It will not provide the specific answer to every circumstance which may arise, but it will provide the basis on which you can use your professional judgement to make a decision. Please also be aware that public health advice may evolve over time, and you should check online to make sure you are working to the most recent version of this guidance. 

Updates since the previous version

The updates updates in this version set out how some of the risk mitigations can be adapted for each protection level in the strategic framework.

These changes are incorporated into the relevant sections and cover:

  • enhanced cleaning requirements, including PPE requirement
  • sharing of resources between setting and home
  • singing
  • specialist visitors
  • use of peripatetic/temporary staff
  • blended placements
  • a change to the requirement for eye protection where a young person is suspected to have Covid

Childminders are encouraged to read the guidance in full.

First published: 5 Mar 2021 Last updated: 29 Jul 2021 -