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Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school aged childcare services

Non-statutory guidance to support a safe and supportive environment.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school aged childcare services
More information by topic

More information by topic

Risk assessments

Wearing face coverings in school age childcare settings

Adults should wear face coverings wherever they cannot maintain a two metre distance from other adults and/or school age children.

Staff and children over the age of 12 should also wear face coverings at all times when moving around the setting (regardless of ability to maintain physical distance) in: offices and admin areas; canteens (except when dining); and staff rooms and other confined communal areas (including toilets). This does not apply where a person is exempt from wearing a face covering.

Cleaning public play parks if children visit

This would not be required. You should ensure enhanced hygiene measures for children such as using antibacterial hand gel when soap and water is not available. When children and staff return to the setting they should wash their hands with soap and water immediately.

Mixed age groups

Out of school care services operating with mixed age groups and children from different schools

Out of school care services can operate with children of different ages and from different schools.

Services must limit contacts by managing children within groups. Consistency of groups is important, and children should remain within the same groups wherever possible. Where possible, settings should try to keep groups consistent with schools and classes in order to minimise contacts. Risks can also be reduced by creating ‘bubbles’ within household groups by caring for siblings alongside each other.

Services must keep clear records showing which adults and children spend sustained periods of time together. This supports effective practice in following Test and Protect protocols in the event of an outbreak.

Secondary school age children using out of school care services

The guidance for secondary schools now includes a requirement for physical distancing between secondary school age children. Where possible this should also be applied in school age childcare.

Use of minibuses or cars

Dedicated transport used by the service should be regarded as an extension of the premises. Physical distancing measures between children attending the service are not necessary. Staff should remain physically distanced from children and other adults where possible. Prolonged periods where adults and children are in close proximity should be avoided. If this is not possible, they should be limited as far as possible. Effective ventilation should also be ensured. The advice in the schools’ guidance remains that face coverings should be worn by children aged five years and over on dedicated school transport (unless exemptions apply). The schools' guidance provides further detail on the use of transport.

Staff and parents should not share a vehicle with anyone from another household, unless they absolutely have to. If they have no other option, they should follow the safe travel guidance from Transport Scotland. This provides advice on how to share vehicles safely. This includes sitting as far apart as possible, opening windows and minimising journey times.

First published: 5 Mar 2021 Last updated: 9 Apr 2021 -