This letter was sent to all registered childminders in Scotland on 25 March 2020 from from Children’s Minister Maree Todd. It confirms that they should cease all provision besides emergency childcare for key worker families and vulnerable children, until further notice.
Where childminders do this, they are strongly advised to limit the number of households for whom they provide childcare to a maximum of two, other than their own, at any one time.
To: All registered childminders
Following the Scottish and UK Government’s announcements on 23 March 2020 about the latest measures necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, this guidance note sets out the implications for childminding services in Scotland.
- as of today (25 March 2020) registered childminders are strongly advised to cease all provision apart from critical childcare provision for key worker families and vulnerable children until further notice. Where possible, critical provision should be delivered as part of a coordinated local authority-led emergency response. Read the latest guidance on critical childcare provision for keyworkers.
- If providing childcare for key worker families and/or vulnerable children, childminders are strongly advised to limit the number of households for whom they provide childcare to a maximum of two, other than their own. This measure is intended to reduce the risk of transmission between households
- operational public health advice for all childcare and educational settings providing critical childcare at this time will be available soon, and must be adhered to
The Scottish Government does not currently have the legal power to enforce the closure of childminding settings not involved in critical keyworker or vulnerable children provision, but I am providing this guidance in the strongest possible terms in the interests of public health in this unprecedented national emergency. I ask you to take these very difficult steps to protect yourselves, to protect our NHS, and to protect Scotland.
I realise that the guidance you have received has changed over the past week, and that many of you have been very concerned and uncertain about the best course of action. My team and I are grateful to the Scottish Childminding Association, the Care Inspectorate and other organisations representing childminders in Scotland for their ongoing support to the sector as we work together to respond to the changing public health situation.
I appreciate that this guidance will have very real, and immediate, impacts for each and every one of you. The UK Government has announced a package of measures to support businesses and self-employed workers, including changes to Universal Credit. More information and the Scottish Government’s helpline number are available at:
The Scottish Government will continue working closely with the childminding representative bodies to look at what further support can be provided. We will update you with information as and when it is available.
Thank you for everything you are doing to support our children and families at this time.
Minister for Children and Young People
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